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Free Printable Postnuptial Agreement Template [Word, PDF] Download

    Marriage is an evolving partnership that often requires a clear understanding of shared responsibilities and expectations. As couples grow and change, their financial and personal agreements may need to reflect these transformations. A Post Nuptial Agreement can be an essential tool to ensure that the relationship continues to be grounded in trust and transparency.

    Whether it’s aligning on financial responsibilities or defining other key aspects of the partnership, this document can play a vital role. In the following article, readers will find not only an insightful discussion of the various components and considerations of a Post Nuptial Agreement but also a practical Post Nuptial Agreement sample and template.

    These materials are designed to assist couples in crafting an agreement that truly resonates with their unique needs and values, thereby contributing to a harmonious and cooperative marital relationship.

    What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

    Post Nuptial Agreement
    Post Nuptial Agreement

    A Postnuptial Agreement is a legal contract entered into by a married couple after their wedding. Unlike a prenuptial agreement, which is arranged prior to marriage, a postnuptial agreement is drafted during the marriage and outlines how assets and liabilities will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation.

    It can also detail other specific arrangements within the marriage, such as spousal support, child custody, and various financial responsibilities. The agreement must be agreed upon by both parties, and its terms should be fair and transparent to be legally binding. By establishing clear guidelines and expectations, a Postnuptial Agreement can alleviate potential conflicts and uncertainties, reinforcing trust and cooperation within the marriage.

    Postnuptial Agreement Templates

    A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract signed after a couple gets married to outline asset division and spousal support. Postnups are becoming more common for protecting one’s financial interests in case of divorce. Though not romantic, a postnup can give both spouses clarity and peace of mind.

    The postnuptial agreement templates specify separate and marital property. This defines what assets each spouse owns independently versus jointly. The contract also details spousal support obligations if the marriage ends. It can outline who covers debts, mortgages, taxes, and more. The postnup templates typically include a waiver of estate rights, so spouse cannot claim property after death.

    Other clauses to consider are how to handle retirement accounts, stock options, future inheritances, life insurance policies, and prenuptial contracts from previous marriages. Postnups usually have sunset provisions ending the contract after a set time period or event. Since postnups involve complex legal matters, it’s advisable for both parties to consult their own attorney when drafting the agreement templates. Signing a postnup requires full financial disclosure and voluntary consent from both spouses.

    Benefits of Having a Postnuptial Agreement 

    A postnuptial agreement, similar to a prenuptial agreement, is a legal contract entered into by a couple after they have already been married or entered into a civil partnership. This document sets out how assets will be divided in the event of a separation or divorce. Here’s a detailed guide to the benefits of having a postnuptial agreement.

    Protecting Separate Assets

    Separate assets refer to those owned by either spouse before marriage or those acquired during marriage through inheritance or personal gift. A postnuptial agreement can clearly specify these assets, ensuring that they remain separate from marital property. This is particularly important if the couple’s state law employs a community property approach, which generally regards all assets acquired during marriage as jointly owned.

    Defining Marital Property

    A postnuptial agreement allows couples to clearly define what constitutes marital property. This can include properties acquired during the marriage, joint accounts, or other shared assets. By determining what is shared and what isn’t, it helps to simplify property division if a divorce occurs.

    Debt Protection

    Just as assets can be split in a divorce, so too can debts. A postnuptial agreement can be used to ensure that any debt incurred by one party during the marriage doesn’t become a shared responsibility in the event of a split. This is particularly useful if one partner is a high-risk entrepreneur or has issues with spending control.

    Spousal Support and Child Support Arrangements

    While a postnuptial agreement cannot decide child custody issues, it can address financial support for children. This agreement can also set out expectations for spousal support or alimony, which can add a layer of financial predictability for both parties in the event of a divorce.

    Protecting Business Interests

    If one or both parties have business interests, a postnuptial agreement can protect these from becoming muddled in a divorce. This can be particularly beneficial for preserving the stability of a business, as it could be disruptive to divide a business or force a sale.

    Ensuring Family Heirlooms or Assets Stay in the Family

    In a divorce, there’s a risk that family heirlooms or assets might end up leaving the family. A postnuptial agreement can ensure that specific items or assets remain within the original family.

    Setting Expectations for Marital Behavior

    Though not universally enforceable, some postnuptial agreements include clauses about marital behavior, such as agreement to refrain from infidelity or certain financial behaviors. These expectations can serve as a tool for improving communication between spouses and resolving disputes.

    Creating Financial Stability

    By addressing these various financial aspects upfront, a postnuptial agreement can create a sense of stability and predictability within the marriage. Knowing how things will be handled in the event of a divorce can reduce anxiety and contention.

    Reduction in Potential Legal Fees

    In the unfortunate event of a divorce, having a pre-existing postnuptial agreement can make the process smoother and less contentious. This could potentially result in lower legal fees, less time in court, and a less emotionally taxing process.

    Flexibility and Customization

    Every marriage is unique, and a postnuptial agreement can be tailored to suit your specific circumstances. This level of customization can help ensure that both parties feel the agreement is fair and equitable.

    What Can be Included in a Post-Nuptial Agreement?

    A postnuptial agreement is a legal document created by a married couple, outlining how various assets, debts, and other financial matters would be handled in the event of a separation or divorce. It is a complex document that can cover a wide variety of topics, and creating one requires careful consideration and understanding of both parties’ rights and obligations.

    Here’s a detailed guide on what can be included in a postnuptial agreement:

    Asset Division

    a. Separate Assets: Identification and protection of each spouse’s separate assets, such as those brought into the marriage or acquired individually through inheritance or gifts.

    b. Marital Assets: Identification of jointly owned assets, including real estate, investments, bank accounts, etc., and how they will be divided.

    c. Valuation of Assets: Methodology for valuing assets, whether using appraisals or other means.

    d. Business Ownership: Protection of business interests, defining ownership stakes, and laying out how the business would be valued and divided.

    Debt Allocation

    a. Individual Debts: Specifying which spouse is responsible for any debts incurred individually.

    b. Joint Debts: Detailing how joint debts will be handled, including the division of responsibility.

    Spousal Support

    a. Alimony Terms: If applicable, details about alimony payments, including amounts, duration, and conditions under which payments may change or cease.

    Retirement and Investment Accounts

    a. Retirement Funds: Allocation of retirement funds, including IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions.

    b. Investment Accounts: Division of investment accounts and any specific stocks, bonds, or other investment instruments.

    Life Insurance

    a. Policies and Beneficiaries: Details about life insurance policies, including designations of beneficiaries, and how the policies are to be handled or divided.

    Child-Related Provisions

    a. Child Support: Stipulations about child support payments, including amounts, frequency, and duration.

    b. College Expenses: Agreements regarding contributions to children’s education costs, including college tuition, room and board, and other expenses.

    c. Future Children: Provisions relating to potential future children and associated financial responsibilities.

    Tax Considerations

    a. Filing Status: Agreement on how taxes will be filed during the marriage and after a separation or divorce.

    b. Tax Benefits and Liabilities: Allocation of tax benefits and liabilities related to joint assets and debts.

    Estate Planning

    a. Wills and Trusts: Integration with existing estate plans, including wills and trusts, and details on how estate assets will be handled.

    Marital Obligations and Behavior

    a. Lifestyle Clauses: Sometimes, postnuptial agreements may include clauses related to behavior within the marriage, such as fidelity, spending habits, etc. (Though enforceability varies.)

    Other Miscellaneous Provisions

    a. Legal Expenses: Arrangements for covering legal expenses in the event of a divorce or separation.

    b. Mediation/Arbitration: Agreements to seek mediation or arbitration rather than litigation if disputes arise.

    c. Amendments and Revisions: Procedures for amending or revising the agreement.

    d. Enforceability and Jurisdiction: Clauses ensuring the agreement complies with state laws and defining the jurisdiction governing the agreement.

    What Can’t Be Included in a Postnuptial Agreement?

    Postnuptial agreements are legal documents that address financial issues within a marriage, particularly those that might arise in the event of a divorce. While they can be comprehensive and detailed, there are certain provisions and subjects that cannot be legally included. Here’s a detailed look at what cannot be included in a postnuptial agreement:

    Child Custody and Visitation Rights

    Postnuptial agreements cannot dictate or outline child custody or visitation arrangements. These decisions are made by courts based on what they determine to be in the best interest of the child.

    Unfair or One-Sided Provisions

    Provisions that heavily favor one spouse over the other, or are deemed unconscionable, are likely to be invalidated by a court. Both parties must fully disclose their assets, and the agreement must be made voluntarily without coercion or fraud.

    Waivers of Child Support

    A parent’s responsibility to financially support their children cannot be waived or limited by a postnuptial agreement. Courts retain the right to determine child support based on statutory guidelines.

    llegal Activities or Provisions

    Any clause that encourages or requires illegal behavior is void and unenforceable.

    Personal, Non-Financial Matters

    While some couples may wish to include provisions on personal behavior or household responsibilities, such as chore division, these are typically not enforceable in court. Courts generally view these types of clauses as non-binding and outside the legal purview of a postnuptial agreement.

    Temporary Alimony or Spousal Support Provisions Contrary to State Law

    Some jurisdictions may not allow couples to waive or set alimony or spousal support terms in a way that contradicts state law. Rules can vary, so it’s essential to consult with an attorney familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction.

    Provisions Encouraging Divorce

    Any clause that provides a financial incentive for divorce or appears to encourage the dissolution of the marriage is likely to be viewed unfavorably by a court.

    Provisions Inconsistent with Public Policy

    If a clause in the agreement is determined to be contrary to the public policy of the jurisdiction, it may be invalidated. For instance, a provision that absolves one spouse from liability for intentional wrongdoing or personal injury to the other spouse might be struck down.

    Incomplete or Inaccurate Disclosure of Assets

    Both parties must fully and honestly disclose their assets and liabilities. Failure to do so may result in the agreement being set aside.

    Provisions that Adversely Affect a Party’s Right to Government Benefits

    Any provision that might cause a spouse to become eligible for public assistance, or that shifts the burden of support to the state, might be set aside by a court.

    Are Post-Nuptial Agreements Legally Binding?

    Yes, post-nuptial agreements can be legally binding, but the enforceability of such agreements depends on various factors and may differ significantly depending on jurisdiction.

    A post-nuptial agreement is a written contract entered into by a couple after marriage or civil partnership. It typically outlines how assets and liabilities would be divided in the event of divorce, legal separation, or death. Like prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements are subject to scrutiny by the courts and must generally adhere to specific legal principles to be enforceable. In the United States, for example, both parties must have entered into the agreement voluntarily, without coercion or duress. The agreement must be fair, meaning it cannot be unconscionable or heavily favor one party over the other. Both parties should have access to legal advice and full disclosure of each other’s financial situation before entering into the agreement.

    However, it’s worth noting that not all jurisdictions recognize post-nuptial agreements, and even within jurisdictions that do, the enforcement can vary widely. Courts will often consider factors such as the timing of the agreement, whether the parties had an opportunity to obtain independent legal advice, the fairness of the agreement at the time it was made, and whether circumstances have changed substantially since the agreement was entered into. For example, the birth of a child after the agreement might change a court’s view of what is fair. Since laws and interpretations can vary significantly, anyone considering a post-nuptial agreement should consult with a legal professional familiar with the laws of their specific jurisdiction to ensure that the agreement will be drafted in a manner that is likely to be enforceable.

    Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements

    Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal instruments that couples can use to outline the division of assets, debts, and other financial responsibilities within the relationship. Though they serve similar purposes, there are key differences between them.


    • Prenuptial Agreements: Entered into before marriage or civil partnership. They allow couples to set financial and property rights before legally binding themselves to each other.
    • Postnuptial Agreements: Created after the marriage or civil partnership has taken place. They can be used to modify or establish new financial agreements during the course of the marriage.


    • Prenuptial Agreements: Often used to protect individual assets, especially if one or both parties have significant wealth, business interests, or expect to receive inheritances. They can also set forth provisions for spousal support.
    • Postnuptial Agreements: These are sometimes entered into after a significant change in the marriage, like a substantial increase in assets, inheritance, or a change in financial goals. They can also be used to resolve issues in a troubled marriage, providing a structured resolution to financial disagreements.

    Legal Considerations

    • Prenuptial Agreements: Must be entered into voluntarily and with full disclosure of assets. Some jurisdictions may require that both parties have independent legal representation. If one party is perceived as having unequal bargaining power, the agreement might be subject to greater scrutiny.
    • Postnuptial Agreements: Similarly, must be entered into voluntarily without coercion, but since they come after the legal binding of marriage, they may be held to higher standards of fairness. Courts may look more closely at postnuptial agreements to ensure that they don’t promote or incentivize divorce.


    • Prenuptial Agreements: Generally enforceable if drafted and executed properly, in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction where the couple will live or divorce.
    • Postnuptial Agreements: May be more challenging to enforce, depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. Courts may scrutinize these agreements more closely to ensure fairness and compliance with legal requirements.

    Which Is Right for You?

    Choosing between a prenuptial and a postnuptial agreement depends on your individual circumstances, needs, and goals. Below is a general guide that might help you decide which is more suitable for your situation, but it is strongly advised to consult with a legal professional who specializes in family law in your jurisdiction to make an informed decision.

    Prenuptial Agreement: Consider If

    • You’re Not Yet Married: If you’re planning to get married and want to set financial terms ahead of the wedding, a prenuptial agreement is the logical choice.
    • Protecting Separate Assets: If either of you has significant assets, debts, or children from previous relationships, a prenuptial agreement can clarify ownership and financial responsibilities.
    • Business Ownership: If one or both parties have ownership in a business, a prenuptial agreement can protect those interests.
    • You Have a Specific Inheritance or Financial Plan: Setting these terms before marriage can make the process smoother and clearer for both parties.

    Postnuptial Agreement: Consider If

    • You’re Already Married: If you’re already married and need or want to establish or modify financial terms, a postnuptial agreement is the option.
    • Change in Financial Circumstances: Significant changes in finances, such as a substantial inheritance, a career change, or starting a business, may warrant a postnuptial agreement.
    • Marital Struggles: If financial issues are causing tension in the marriage, a postnuptial agreement can clarify responsibilities and expectations, possibly strengthening the relationship.
    • You Didn’t Have Time Before Marriage: If you wanted a prenuptial agreement but didn’t manage to create one before the wedding, a postnuptial agreement could serve the same purpose afterward.

    How do I ask for a postnup?

    Asking for a postnuptial agreement (postnup) can be a sensitive topic, so it requires thoughtfulness, clear communication, and a firm understanding of why you feel the agreement is necessary. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this delicate conversation:

    1. Understand Your Reasons: Before bringing it up with your partner, make sure you understand why you want a postnup. Your reasons should be clear and fair, and something that you can articulate calmly and logically.
    2. Choose the Right Time and Setting: This conversation should be planned for a private, relaxed setting where you both can focus on the discussion without interruptions. Avoid bringing it up during an argument or stressful situation.
    3. Prepare What You’ll Say: It can be helpful to plan out what you want to say, focusing on “I” statements that express your feelings and thoughts without attacking or blaming your partner.
    4. Open the Conversation Gently: Start the conversation by affirming your love and commitment to the relationship, and explain that you would like to discuss something that is important to you.
    5. Explain Your Perspective: Share your reasons for wanting a postnup, emphasizing the benefits it might bring to your relationship. This might include protecting both parties or simply creating a clear financial understanding that could reduce future stress.
    6. Allow for Discussion: Give your partner a chance to express how they feel. Listen actively, and try to understand their perspective, even if they disagree with you.
    7. Seek Professional Guidance if Needed: If the conversation becomes too contentious or complex, it might be beneficial to involve a neutral third party, such as a mediator or family lawyer who specializes in these agreements.
    8. Reaffirm Your Relationship: Regardless of the outcome of the conversation, reaffirm your love and commitment to one another, recognizing that this is just one part of your ongoing relationship.
    9. Move Forward Together: If your partner agrees to the postnup, you can begin the process of working with legal professionals to draft the agreement. If not, discuss how you both can address the concerns that led to the request in the first place.

    How to Write a Postnuptial Agreement?

    Writing a postnuptial agreement requires careful consideration, attention to detail, and adherence to the laws of your jurisdiction. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the process. Remember, it is always advisable to consult with a family law attorney in your jurisdiction to ensure that the agreement complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

    Step 1: Assess Your Needs and Objectives

    • Example: Determine the reason for the agreement, such as dividing a new inheritance, and list the assets and debts that will be covered.

    Step 2: Full Financial Disclosure

    • Example: Both parties should provide a detailed list of all assets, liabilities, income, and expenses, such as bank statements, property deeds, and credit card statements.

    Step 3: Decide on the Terms

    • Example: Agree on how assets and debts will be divided in the event of separation or divorce, such as “The family home will be sold, and the profits split equally.”

    Step 4: Seek Independent Legal Advice

    • Example: Both parties should consult separate lawyers to ensure understanding and fairness. If one party has a lawyer, the other party might have a consultation with a different lawyer, like “John consults Attorney A, while Jane consults Attorney B.”

    Step 5: Draft the Agreement

    • Example: Write down the agreed-upon terms, including provisions for spousal support, division of property, and any other relevant matters, in clear and unambiguous language.

    Step 6: Review with Legal Counsel

    • Example: Have the drafted agreement reviewed by legal counsel to ensure that it complies with relevant laws and fully reflects the intentions of both parties.

    Step 7: Include Any Necessary Exhibits

    • Example: Attach copies of relevant documents, such as property deeds or financial statements, to the agreement as exhibits, providing concrete references to the assets and liabilities discussed.

    Step 8: Execution of the Agreement

    • Example: Both parties should sign the agreement in front of a notary public to ensure the authenticity of the signatures. “John and Jane sign the agreement on [date] in the presence of Notary Public X.”

    Step 9: Keep Copies in a Safe Place

    • Example: Both parties should keep copies of the signed agreement in a secure location, such as a safe deposit box, and provide copies to their respective attorneys.

    Example Postnuptial Agreement Clause

    “In the event of a divorce, the marital home located at [address], currently valued at [value], shall be sold, and the net proceeds shall be divided equally between the parties. Any costs associated with the sale of the home shall be borne equally by both parties.”


    Can a Postnuptial Agreement Be Changed or Revoked?

    Yes, postnuptial agreements can be changed or revoked if both parties agree. Modifications must be made in writing and follow legal procedures similar to the original agreement’s creation.

    Why Would a Couple Get a Postnuptial Agreement?

    Couples might seek a postnuptial agreement to clarify financial expectations, protect individual assets, or as part of marital counseling to rebuild trust.

    Does a Postnuptial Agreement Protect Assets in a Divorce?

    Yes, a properly drafted postnuptial agreement can protect individual assets in a divorce, as it outlines how assets should be divided.

    Do I Need a Lawyer for a Postnuptial Agreement?

    While not always required, it’s generally advisable to consult with a family law attorney when creating a postnuptial agreement. This ensures the agreement meets legal requirements and represents both parties’ interests fairly.

    How Much Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cost?

    The cost of a postnuptial agreement can vary widely based on factors such as the complexity of the assets involved, the attorneys’ fees, and the region where you live. It might range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more. Some couples may pay less if the agreement is straightforward, while others could pay significantly more if the agreement is more complex.

    Is a Postnuptial Agreement a Good Idea?

    Whether a postnuptial agreement is a good idea depends on individual circumstances. It can be beneficial for couples looking to establish clear financial boundaries or protect specific assets. Speaking with a relationship expert or legal professional can help determine if it’s right for your situation.

    How Long Does It Take to Get a Postnuptial Agreement?

    The time required to draft and finalize a postnuptial agreement can vary, usually ranging from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the complexity of the agreement and the cooperation between parties.

    Are Postnuptial Agreements Common?

    Postnuptial agreements are less common than prenuptial agreements but are becoming increasingly popular as couples recognize their benefits in managing financial expectations and protecting assets.

    Can You Get a Postnuptial Agreement If You Already Have a Prenuptial Agreement?

    Yes, a postnuptial agreement can be created even if a prenuptial agreement exists. It may modify or replace the terms of the prenuptial agreement, depending on how it is drafted.

    Is a Postnuptial Agreement Valid in All States?

    While most states recognize postnuptial agreements, the specific requirements and enforceability can vary. It is crucial to consult with a legal professional in your jurisdiction to understand the applicable laws.

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    Betina Jessen

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