A postnuptial agreement can help cover your assets. But some say proposing one to your spouse may be as nerve-racking as proposing marriage.
Brian Morache and his wife Mariam are past divorcees who recently tied the knot.
"Both of us have been married twice. Her first one ended O.K.; the second one was a nightmare," explained Brian.
This time Mariam wanted to protect her assets, so she and Brian signed a postnuptial agreement.
"I think there's a bit more peace of mind, a bit more stability in a sense," Brian said.
A postnup is a legally binding document that's similar to a prenuptial agreement, but it is signed after a couple says their vows.
With divorce rates and litigation costs on the rise, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says a growing number of couples are looking into these so-called marital contracts.
"Any two people who feel that they're in conflict and feel that a marriage may be dissolved should try and define what they would do in the event of a divorce in advance. It does bring clarity to the situation," explained Ken Altshuler, with the AAML.
Some happy couples are also signing postnups for a sense of security. The terms of the agreement can deal with practically anything, from checking and savings accounts, to debt and child support, to personal property.
"We have many instances where people talk about who is going to have custody of the pet. I've had different pieces of china and silverware that were divided in advance," Altshuler said.
For Brian and his wife, working out who gets what was simple.
"What we come into the marriage with is what we would each leave with," he said.
Brian and Mariam were lucky. Allison Pescosolido, co-founder of Divorce Detox, says postnups can often be tricky to approach.
"Both people are going to have to give up what their ideal is. You also want to walk away if it starts getting heated and set a specific time to get back together," she said.
Pescosolido also recommends reaching out to a therapist. No matter how you choose to go about it, she says the most important thing is full disclosure, including finances, assets and debts. Otherwise, the postnup could be thrown out in court.
Brian and Mariam look forward to a lifetime of love, but consider the postnup a kind of insurance policy.
"Its almost like putting on a life jacket when you're going to go boating. You don't anticipate using it, but you want it there," explained Brian.
Currently, Ohio is the only state that prohibits postnuptial agreements.
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