Many people in Marietta are familiar with the concept of prenuptial agreements: a contract that couples sign before getting married that often lays out how money and property will be divided at divorce. Fewer people may be familiar with postnuptial agreements, very similar to prenuptial agreements but signed after a marriage, but there are an increasing number of Georgians who are using these agreements. Much like a prenuptial agreement, postnups can be used to resolve a considerable number of family law issues.

Across the country there has been an uptick in the number of people creating postnups and there are three main reasons why someone would get a postnuptial agreement — someone received a large gift with strings attached, the marriage is crumbling and this is an effort to keep it together, and the couple didn’t have enough time to get a prenup.

It is fairly common for someone to receive some kind of inheritance that has special instructions, including to “keep it in the family.” This is the first reason why someone may choose to get a postnup; if one spouse received some kind of property, a postnup would prevent that property from becoming marital property.

Another reason why some couples get postnups is to make up for bad behavior. Say, for example, one spouse cheated on the other, and instead of getting a divorce, the couple gets a postnup that gives the wronged spouse a greater award than he or she would get through a normal divorce settlement.

Finally, sometimes it is just difficult to get a prenup done before the wedding, but the couple still wants to protect their individual assets. For these couples, a postnup is one of the best options.

Source: USA Today, “Why postnups may be picking up,” Kelley Holland, July 14, 2013