How Do I Know If I Need a Postnuptial Agreement in Alabama?
Legally, a postnuptial agreement is a contract between you and your spouse that usually will address what will occur in the event of a divorce; but it can also, but it also can be beneficial if you own a business or expect (or have received) an inheritance.
Alabama has numerous family law bills and laws that pertain to alimony, etc. (example referenced here), but if left up to the state, your specific wishes may not be upheld. Having a postnuptial (or prenuptial agreement) would solve this problem.
Most postnuptial agreements are legally very similar to prenuptial agreements, with the distinct difference that they are entered into after you are married rather than before.
Just a few of the items that may be addressed in postnuptial agreements are:
- The division of debts, assets, and businesses after your divorce.
- How assets, including property, bank accounts, or even businesses, will be divided if you divorce.
- How monetary support will be structured if you divorce, and much more.
Each state (including Alabama) has specific legal provisions regarding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. As long as you comply with the laws of your state, almost any marital issue may be addressed and managed, including divorce, death of a spouse, debilitation of a spouse, and more.
Competent and knowledgeable Alabama family lawyers recommend postnuptial agreements to resolve many situations, and these agreements can be highly beneficial in these situations:
- If you are a business owner – If you own a family business and want to protect its earnings, assets, management, etc., that you’ve worked to build before and during your marriage.
- Fear of Financial Talks – Both you and your spouse might have been worried about discussing finances before your wedding, but now married, you begin to see how a mutual postnuptial agreement can be beneficial.
Postnuptial agreements can solve a myriad of issues, and if you are even slightly concerned about a monetary or other family matter, then your Alabama family lawyer’s advice, guidance, and experience will be invaluable.
Some Solid Legal Reasons Why a Postnuptial Agreement Can be Helpful.
If a couple has even moderate assets, form a business, etc., you may already have entered into a prenuptial agreement before you got married. However, life changes constantly, and there may be numerous reasons why you now want to consider a postnuptial agreement.
An example of just some of these reasons are:
- To do more detailed planning – Most couples want clear and concise clarification about what might occur should things not work out, if one spouse becomes incapacitated, etc. A postnuptial agreement is a “safety net” for a non-discernable future.
- Asset protection for children – Often, couples have children from a previous marriage and want to ensure they receive specific assets, etc.
- Asset protection for self – Life is constantly in flux, and you or your spouse could receive a significant promotion. How this new income should be distributed can be rationally planned out for the future.
- Financial irresponsibility and spousal support – Many unknowns can occur during your marriage. For example, one spouse may incur financial or legal troubles that the other spouse doesn’t want to impact them. Or for many reasons, including divorce, one spouse may end up supporting the other.
The plain truth is that every marriage differs, and so do the circumstances involved. Most Birmingham and Alabama family lawyers will grant a free consultation if you have questions. So, if you have any questions or concerns, let your experienced and empathetic Birmingham family law team put your mind at ease and provide the advice you need.
How Can a Postnuptial Agreement Protect Me?
A postnup can update an existing prenup or be drawn up singerly due to some significant change in a spouse’s financial circumstance.
Often, a future asset can’t be defined adequately before your marriage, and a valid, well-drafted postnup may be the only way to ensure that an asset one spouse acquires during the marriage remains under the control of that spouse.
As this is unique to each situation, your detailed and thorough family law team will provide the best guidance possible to solve the problem.
How Can a Postnuptial Agreement Protect My Business in Alabama?
You’ve worked long hours to build your business, and if you get married in most states, your spouse may (or may not) have a say in your company. Especially if you’re getting divorced, it has a significant impact on your business’s assets, income, and ability to continue operating successfully.
For business owners, divorce often involves complex property litigation as they determine how to divide their marital assets and debts. If you are already married and built a successful family business, you want to protect its operation in case of divorce, so consider creating a postnuptial agreement.
The structure and nature of your unique enterprise will dictate what you need to protect; however, the following are some of the everyday things a postnuptial agreement can address.
- Decide how your business may be divided – Without a valid postnup, your spouse may end up with 50% of your business. However, by addressing the situation in a postnup, you can specify the percentage that each spouse may own.
- Determine methods of business valuation – To avoid disagreements about determining the value of business assets, a post-marital agreement can decide how these matters will be addressed if a divorce does occur.
- Address income and debts – Let’s say you limited the personal income you receive from your business and used these funds for expansion. This reduced income could affect issues such as spousal support or child support. To avoid disputes, a postnup may specify how a person’s income will be calculated during the divorce process.
These are just a few ways to use a well-drafted, thought-out, and ironclad postnup to protect what you’ve worked tirelessly to build. There are many more, and the expertise of your Birmingham family law firm will be invaluable to ensure nothing is overlooked.
I’m Considering a Postnuptial Agreement; How Should I Proceed?
If you’ve been married for years and worked diligently to build a substantial asset base or business, you need to ensure that you’ve protected yourself, your children, and your family from the future unknowns the best you can.
We can agree that nothing is foolproof, but a thorough, well-drafted postnuptial agreement can go an incredibly long way to ensure your estate or business is intact should divorce or almost any negative unknown factor occurs.
The Rose Law Firm has specialists in family law and postnuptial agreements. They are recognized throughout Alabama and stand ready to assist you and help plan for anything that may occur. Call them today at (205) 858-9224, as they’re passionate about the law, your case, and your future.