Postnuptial Agreement vs. Legal Separation

Creating a postnuptial agreement allows a married couple to divide their community property (assets and debts) as though they were divorcing. Filling for legal separation accomplishes the same objective; however, a court order is in place which clearly defines separated community property. Read on to learn more about the benefits of drafting a postnuptial agreement or filling for legal separation.

Postnuptial Agreement Overview

A postnuptial agreement is a document similar to a prenuptial agreement.  It discusses how property debts will be allocated in the event of a divorce.  A postnuptial agreement can also define specific assets as separate property and specific assets as community property.  Most couples find it is easier to discuss these issues while they are on good terms rather than wait for an ugly divorce.

There are a number of reasons why a couple would sign a postnuptial agreement.  A common reason for signing a postnuptial agreement is that the couple never signed a prenuptial agreement and now want an agreement in place.  A postnuptial agreement can also be useful for a couple who signed a prenuptial agreement, but their financial situation has significantly changed, and the original terms of the prenup are no longer fair.

Postnuptial agreements can be a way to protect the inheritance of children from previous relationship and it can ensure a treasured family heirloom remains in the family. A postnup can also protect a business from having a spouse become an inadvertent partner.  Essentially, a postnuptial agreement is a form of an insurance plan.  In the event of a divorce, the couple can settle most matters quickly without an expensive drawn-out negotiation.

Postnup Limitations

There are few things a couple is prohibited from including in a postnupt agreement.  The postnuptial agreement cannot have provisions for child custody and support.  A postnuptial agreement can include provisions for spousal support, but there is no guarantee that a court will honor those terms.  If the couple does end up divorce, they will need to figure out these issues during the divorce process.

Legal Separation Overview

In contrast to a postnuptial agreement, a legal separation is a request for a court order to separate community property. It is a similar to a divorce agreement, but unlike a divorce agreement, a legal separation will not dissolve the marriage.  Many couples who legally separate wish to remain married for religious reasons or to continue receiving health or government benefits.  Unlike the postnuptial agreement, which is a private document between the couple, in many states legal separations are filed with the court.  Like a postnuptial agreement, a legal separation will contain specific provisions for property and debt allocation.  If the couple is living apart and have minor children, the legal separation agreement will need to contain the terms of a child custody, visitation, and support issues.  A legal separation can have provisions for spousal support.  Some couples who get a legal separation do eventually divorce.  If they do divorce, the divorce process is fairly simple.

Flat Fee Postnuptial Agreement Review & Drafting Service

We provide affordable flat fee postnuptial agreement review services starting at $1200.  Our postnuptial agreement drafting services start at $1500.

We highly encourage you to work with an experienced California postnuptial agreement attorney instead of relying on a do-it-yourself approach. We provide flat fee postnuptial agreement review and drafting services to California residents. We only represent one party in postnup agreement drafting or review. We do not provide dual representation. Sign up  to get started.

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