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Many couples see a looming separation when they hear the words “postnuptial agreement” uttered by their spouse. However, the agreements provide a realistic option for married couples to consider their assets in the case of divorce.

Spouses should not fear postnuptial agreements. Instead, they should make an effort to learn more about these documents and how they are used to help marriages.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement, or a postnup, is a legal document where a married couple defines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse for the duration of the marriage and what happens in case of a legal separation. It’s the same as a prenuptial agreement, but it allows married couples to reflect on their assets in case of a spouse’s death or divorce.

Often, postnups address financial concerns and the distribution of property in case of separation, including the division of debts, rents, income and shared wealth. The agreements also offer protection for spouses under challenging circumstances. For example, a clause could state if the husband who cheats on his wife, he may not receive any of her family’s inheritance.

When are postnuptial agreements enforced?

Kentucky typically enforces postnuptial agreements since passing public policies in November 1990. However, the agreement needs to be a legal contract in the eyes of the court, which means:

  • No fraud or misrepresentation while obtaining the contract
  • Fair conditions for both parties
  • No significant changes that affect the deal for the parties

As long as the terms of the contract are reasonable and enforceable, the agreement will be upheld in Kentucky.

Should I get one with my spouse?

Postnuptial agreements are great solutions for some couples. It depends on your relationship and where you and your spouse stand in your shared finances. For example, if you expect an impending divorce, it may be too late to try to have your partner sign over half of their assets.

You may want to consider a contract if you are receiving an unexpected inheritance from a relative or any major changes to your finances. But consult with your spouse first and be open to other options if a postnuptial agreement does not work for your circumstances.