Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements and Other Protection of Assets

By: Bruce E. Friedman

People who marry often want to protect their financial interests in the event of a divorce or their death. Most commonly, people do this through a premarital contract called a “prenuptial agreement.” With a prenuptial agreement, one can:

  • protect assets owned prior to the marriage;
  • protect business interests;
  • determine divorce property settlements in the event of a divorce;
  • exclude certain property from division in the event of a divorce;
  • determine maintenance or alimony;
  • preserve assets for heirs in the event of a death.

It is not only the wealthy who rely on prenuptial agreements; anyone looking to avoid disagreements and lengthy divorce litigation and anyone looking to protect assets upon their death benefits from such an agreement. Frequently, people entering into a second marriage seek to preserve their estate for their children. A prenuptial agreement allows persons to contractually shelter their assets for this purpose.

Many think that prenuptials are easily “broken” and difficult to enforce. This is not necessarily the case. A well-drafted, negotiated prenuptial agreement can be difficult to attack in the court and can be successfully defended if questioned. Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. has substantial experience negotiating, drafting and reviewing prenuptial agreements.

Similar to a prenuptial agreement, some people seek, instead, to enter into a postnuptial agreement, which is a contract entered after the marriage. Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement protects assets and even future income in the event of a death or divorce. Some will go further and address spousal maintenance or other issues. For example, a spouse might seek a postnuptial agreement when his or her spouse has been unfaithful. The faithful spouse may agree to reconcile on the condition that he or she receive a specified financial settlement in the event the reconciliation fails or the spouse strays again in the future.

Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. has the experience and knowledge to advise clients on the proper preparation and executive of all types of marital agreements. Our firm frequently advises people considering prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal attorneys also counsel people in premarital asset planning (for those circumstances where an individual may want to protect his/her assets but is concerned about their fiancé’s willingness to enter into a premarital agreement.) With proper planning, some risks can be reduced in the event of a divorce, even without the benefits of a premarital agreement.

If you have any questions about using a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement, or need premarital asset protection advice, contact Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C.

Disclaimer

Bruce E. Friedman

Bruce E. Friedman

With over 30 years of practice, St. Louis family law attorney Bruce E. Friedman has provided guidance in complex financial issues including high net worth individuals, business valuations, and maintenance. Additionally, Mr. Friedman provides other services such as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and domestic partnership agreements.