Marriages can be difficult, and require constant care and attention. Even so, issues can occur. Sometimes, one spouse may have engaged in a prolonged affair or a one-night stand. Other times, a substance abuse or gambling problem may lead to serious issues within the marriage. Many couples in this situation think that the only way forward, other than marriage counseling, is to divorce. They may be overlooking an increasingly common tool which can help save their marriage: the postnuptial or midnuptial agreement. These legal documents can help you and your spouse spell out expectation and consequences for future issues.
Postnuptial agreements are much like prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement can outline expectations if there are already assets or children, requirements about a business interest, debt or even fertility practices. Some couples go so far as to create rules for social media sharing when it comes to the marriage. Your postnuptial agreement can do the same. If you and your spouse have encountered serious issues, but you still hope to make your marriage work, sitting down with an experienced family law attorney to create a postnuptial agreement could help you keep your marriage going.
A postnuptial agreement can protect both parties
When you create a postnuptial agreement, you and your spouse can agree on terms relating to the issues you've faced in your marriage. You can include clauses addressing the problem behavior, such as adultery or gambling. There can be penalties attached to this behavior, ensuring one spouse receives compensation for an affair or that only the gambler assumes that debt. You can place limits on what gets discussed or shared on social media, within online forums or on blogs. You can even preemptively create custody and asset arrangements in the event that some of the issues end up recurring.
Depending on the issues your marriage faces, the requirements and stipulations within a postnuptial agreement could include living arrangements, communication, commitment to therapy or even specific requirements for sex. It may seem unnecessary, but if you are considering divorce, a postnuptial agreement may be able to help you and your spouse work through these issues. It is easier to commit to working on a relationship if you know there will be consequences for the other person if he or she neglects to fulfill his or her end of the bargain.
Postnuptial agreements require the help of an attorney
If you and your spouse think you may benefit from a postnuptial agreement, you need the help of an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney. Your attorney can help ensure that both parties are protected adequately and that the document you agree to is legally sound. Instead of hiring divorce attorneys, speak with a family law attorney to see if a postnuptial agreement could help you save your marriage.