Filling out a postnuptial agreement can be a vital step in ensuring that both parties in a marriage are protected and that their rights and liabilities are clearly defined.

This legal document serves as a roadmap for how assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled during a divorce or separation.

By taking the time to carefully complete each section and understand the implications of each term and condition, couples can enter into a fair and transparent agreement that considers their unique circumstances.

This guide aims to help you navigate the process of filling out a postnuptial agreement by providing precise and detailed explanations for each section and real-life examples to make the process more engaging and accessible.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be better equipped to fill out the document accurately and confidently, ensuring that both parties are protected in the future.

 

Step 1: The parties

This section refers to the Husband and Wife entering the Postnuptial Agreement. It is vital to fill in the names of both parties accurately, as this agreement is specific to them. Additionally, it is essential to note that “Husband” and “Wife” are used here for identification purposes only and do not correlate with the person’s gender.

Date: This is when both parties sign the postnuptial agreement. It should be filled with the current date in the format of “month day, year” (e.g., April 1, 2023).

Husband: This is the full name of the husband who is party to this agreement. 

Wife: This is the full name of the wife who is a party to this agreement.

 

Step 3: Grounds for divorce

This section outlines the grounds on which the Postnuptial Agreement will remain in effect. The Couple must check all that apply to indicate the grounds for Divorce. It is important to note that if the Couple chooses not to review any of the boxes, the Postnuptial Agreement will become void in the event of a Divorce.

Irreconcilable Differences: If the couple selects “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their divorce, this checkbox should be marked. This indicates that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and there is no chance of reconciliation.

Adultery: This section should be checked if the couple is choosing “adultery” as the grounds for divorce. Adultery means that one of the spouses has cheated on the other. The box next to either “Husband,” “Wife,” or “Either Spouse” should be checked, depending on which party committed the adultery.

Prison sentence: If one of the spouses has been sentenced to a prison term exceeding a certain number of years, the couple may choose “prison sentence” as the grounds for divorce by checking this box and filling in the blank with the appropriate number of years.

Alcoholism/Drug Addiction: This box should be checked if the couple chooses “alcoholism/drug addiction” as the grounds for divorce. This means that one of the spouses has an addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Other: This section should be checked if the couple is choosing “other” as the grounds for divorce. The blank should be filled with a brief description of the other grounds for divorce.

 

Step 4: Marriage

This section confirms that the couple was legally married on a specific date and in a particular state. It is vital to fill in this information accurately as it demonstrates the validity of the marriage.

 

Step 5: Minor children

This section identifies whether Minor Children are involved in the Couple’s marriage. If there are, the Couple must specify the number of children and whether they are from the Couple or the Husband or Wife. It is essential to accurately fill in this section as it will affect the terms of the agreement, especially regarding child custody and support.

No Minor Children: This box should be checked if neither the husband nor the wife brought any minor children into the marriage.

Number of Minor Children: This is the number of minor children brought into the marriage. If the couple has any minor children, this field should be filled with the number of children (e.g., 2).

From the Couple: This box should be checked if the minor children are from both the husband and the wife.

From the Husband or the Wife: This box should be checked if the minor children are from the husband or wife. The specific details should be described in Attachment E.

 

Step 6: Spousal support (Alimony)

Spousal Support (Alimony) is a term used in divorce proceedings to refer to one spouse’s financial support provided to the other after the marriage is dissolved. It’s essential to fill in the blank fields in this section because it determines whether or not one spouse will have to provide financial support to the other after the divorce, and if so, how much and for how long.

If you choose the first option, “There Shall Not be Spousal Support,” then neither spouse will be obligated to provide financial support to the other after the divorce. This may be a suitable option if both spouses have their source of income and financial stability.

If you choose the second option, “There Shall Be Spousal Support,” then the spouse designated as the “Paying Spouse” will be obligated to provide financial support to the other spouse, the “Receiving Spouse.” You must choose whether the payments will be made for a fixed period, until a specific date, or if they will continue indefinitely.

 You must also choose whether the payments will be made for a fixed period, until a specific date, or if they will continue indefinitely. If you select “For a Fixed Period,” you must specify the amount paid each month and for how long.

For example, you might agree to pay $1,000 a month for 5 years after the divorce is filed.

Suppose you choose “Until,” you must specify the date until payments are made.

For example, you might agree to pay $1,500 a month until December 31, 2030.

If you choose “In Perpetuity,” you must specify the monthly amount paid. Payments will continue until either spouse’s death, the remarriage of the Receiving Spouse, or modification or termination by further court order.

Alternatively, if you choose “Other,” you can provide a specific arrangement for spousal support that is tailored to your unique situation.

For example, you might agree to pay a lump sum upfront rather than monthly payments.

It’s essential to carefully consider the implications of each option and choose the one most suitable for your circumstances. Remember that the terms of the spousal support agreement can have significant financial consequences for both parties.

 

Step 7: Earnings

This section determines how the Couple will handle their earnings during their marriage. The Couple must check one of the boxes to indicate whether each Spouse’s earnings are owned separately or jointly.

Each Spouse Separately: This box should be checked if each spouse will retain ownership of their own earnings during the marriage.

The Couple Jointly: This box should be checked if the couple will own all earnings during the marriage jointly.

 

Step 8: Additional payment

No Additional Payment: This box should be checked if either spouse will make no additional payment after the divorce.

Additional One (1) Time Payment: If they choose “There shall be an Additional One (1) Time payment,” they must indicate the amount and which Spouse will make the payment. This one-time payment is in addition to the Spousal Support payments outlined in the Postnuptial Agreement.

For example, if they choose “There shall be an Additional One (1) Time payment of $10,000 made by the Husband to the Wife,” it means that the Husband will make a one-time payment of $10,000 to the Wife within thirty days after the Divorce is finalized.

It is important to note that this additional payment must be made following the terms outlined in the Postnuptial Agreement. If the Couple does not specify the details of the different charges, it may cause confusion and disputes in the future.

Other: This section should be checked if there is some other arrangement for additional payment that is not described in the other options. The blank should be filled with a brief description of the contract.

 

Step 9: Bank accounts

This section outlines how the Couple will handle their bank accounts during their marriage. The Couple must check one of the boxes to indicate whether each Spouse will retain and keep their bank accounts separately or they will create a joint bank account together.

Each Spouse shall retain and keep their own bank accounts: This box should check if each spouse will hold their own bank accounts separate from the other.

Each Spouse shall retain and keep their own bank accounts with an additional joint bank account: This box should check if each spouse will hold their bank accounts but also have a joint statement they both own.

All funds from each Spouse’s bank accounts shall be transferred to a joint bank account: This box should be checked if all of the money from each spouse’s bank accounts will be transferred to a joint statement they both own.

 

Step 10: Disability

This section outlines the obligations of each Spouse in the event of disability during the marriage. The Couple must check one of the boxes to indicate whether each Spouse pledges to care for the other in the event of disability.

For example, if they choose “Does Not Pledge to the other,” neither Spouse is obligated to care for the other in case of disability during the marriage.

 

Step 11: Change of circumstances

This section outlines the circumstances under which the Spousal Support payments can be changed. The Couple must check one of the boxes to indicate whether the Spousal Support payments can or cannot be changed.

If they choose “Spousal Support Cannot Change,” it means that no court shall have the jurisdiction to change the Spousal Support payment or non-payment by a Spouse to the other Spouse at any time mentioned in the Postnuptial Agreement. The Spousal Support payments can only be terminated by the Receiving Spouse’s death, remarriage, or termination by further court order, whichever occurs first. It is essential to note that this is a significant consideration because it protects the Spousal Support payments from any changes in circumstances that may arise in the future.

If they choose “Spousal Support Can Change,” it means that Spousal Support may be ordered payable only upon a proper showing in a change of circumstances with either Spouse. A change of circumstance is limited to job loss, disability, or other events that the Couple specifies.

For example, if they choose “Spousal Support Can Change,” and “Job Loss” is checked, Spousal Support payments may be modified if one spouse loses their job.

 

Step 12: Health insurance

This section outlines the Couple’s agreement regarding health insurance in the event of Divorce. The Couple must check one of the boxes to indicate whether each Spouse is responsible for their health insurance or whether one Spouse provides health insurance to the other Spouse.

If they choose “Each Spouse is responsible for Their Own health insurance in the event of Divorce,” it means that each Spouse must obtain their health insurance coverage after the Divorce is finalized. This is important because it clarifies each Spouse’s responsibility for their health insurance coverage after the Divorce.

If they choose “Health insurance Is Provided by the Health Insurance Providing Spouse to the Health Insurance Receiving Spouse,” they must indicate the duration of coverage, which Spouse will provide the scope, and which types of coverage will be provided. The Couple must also specify which types of coverage will be provided, such as medical, dental, vision care, or any other kind of coverage.

For example, if they choose “The Husband provides health insurance to the Wife for 3 years,” it means that the Husband will provide health insurance coverage to the Wife for three years after the Divorce is finalized. 

 

Step 13: Marital home

This section outlines the Couple’s agreement regarding the Marital Home, if applicable. The Couple must check one of the boxes to indicate whether they own a home and, if they do, which Spouse will hold it in the event of a Divorce.

If they choose “The Couple Does Not own a home, either separately or jointly,” it means that the Couple does not own any property together or separately. This is important because it clarifies each Spouse’s property rights after the Divorce.

If they choose “The Husband/Wife/Couple Owns a residence at the property address of _____________ (‘Marital Home’),” they must indicate the property address of the Marital Home and which Spouse will own it in the event of a Divorce.

For example, if they choose “The Couple Owns a residence at the property address of 123 Main St (‘Marital Home’),” they must also specify whether the Husband, Wife, or Couple will own the Marital Home after the Divorce is finalized.

 

Step 14: Financial disclosure

This section aims to decide whether the couple will share their financial information or waive the right to do so.

A. Waived their right to view each other’s financials: If you choose this option, both parties agree not to disclose their financial information to each other. This might be useful in cases where trust and privacy are highly valued.

B. Disclosed the following financial disclosures: If you choose this option, both parties agree to provide complete information about their assets, debts, and liabilities. This promotes transparency and helps avoid future disputes regarding finances.

C. Husband’s Property: In this field, the husband must list all his assets and property. This includes real estate, vehicles, savings, investments, and other valuable items. Use Attachment A if additional space is needed.

D. Husband’s Debts: The husband must list all his debts and liabilities, such as loans, credit card balances, and mortgages. Use Attachment B for extra space.

E. Wife’s Property: In this field, the wife must list all her assets and property, similar to the husband’s section. Use Attachment C for additional space.

F. Wife’s Debts: The wife must list all her debts and liabilities, following the same guidelines as the husband’s debts section. Use Attachment D if more space is required.

 

Step 15: Ownership of property 

This section clarifies how the couple’s assets will be divided in case of divorce.

Before the marriage: Choose whether each spouse keeps their respective property or if all property becomes jointly owned.

For instance, if the husband owned a house before marriage, selecting “Each Spouse respectively” would mean that he retains ownership in case of divorce.

During the marriage: Decide if assets acquired during the marriage are owned by each spouse individually or jointly.

For example, if the couple buys a car together, selecting “The Couple” would mean that they share ownership in case of divorce.

 

Step 16: Ownership of debts

This section determines how the couple’s debts and liabilities will be divided in case of divorce.

Before the marriage: Choose whether each spouse remains responsible for their own debts or if all debts become jointly owned.

For example, if the wife had student loans before marriage, selecting “Each Spouse respectively” would mean that she remains solely responsible for the debt in case of divorce.

During the marriage: Decide if debts acquired during the marriage are the responsibility of each spouse, individually or jointly.

For instance, if the couple takes out a mortgage together, selecting “The Couple” would mean that both parties share responsibility for the debt in case of divorce.

 

Step 17: Rights as a beneficiary 

This section determines if the spouses remain beneficiaries of each other’s estate in case of divorce.

Be Withdrawn and prohibited from receiving any type of inheritance: By selecting this option, both spouses agree that they will not inherit from each other’s estate if they get divorced.

For example, if the husband named the wife as a beneficiary in his will, this option would revoke that status in case of divorce.

Remain Included in the other Spouse’s estate in the event of Divorce: By choosing this option, both spouses agree to remain beneficiaries of each other’s estate even after a divorce. This means that even after getting divorced, the wife could still inherit from the husband’s estate if he passes away unless he deliberately changes his estate documents.

 

Step 18: Additional terms & conditions

 You can include any other terms, conditions, or agreements the couple wants in their postnuptial agreement. This is an opportunity to address your relationship’s or financial situation’s unique aspects.

 

Step 19: Signatures and dates

 In this section, the couple, witnesses, possibly legal counsel, and a notary public must sign and date the postnuptial agreement.

Husband’s Signature: The husband must sign and print his name here, followed by the date of signing.

Wife’s Signature: The wife must sign and print her name here, followed by the date of signing.

 

Step 20: Two (2) witnesses 

This section is for two witnesses to sign, confirming that they observed the husband and wife signing the agreement willingly and believing the couple is of sound mind and not under undue influence.

Witness’s Signatures: Each witness must sign and print their name, followed by the date of signing.

 

Step 21: Notary acknowledgment

 This section is for a notary public to verify the identities of the husband and wife and confirm that they signed the agreement willingly.

A. State and County: Fill in the form and county where the notary acknowledgment occurs.

B. Date: Fill in the date when the notary acknowledgment occurs.

C. Notary Public and Print Name: The notary public must sign and print their name. Additionally, they must include their commission expiration date.

 

Step 22: Husband’s acknowledgment of independent legal advice

 This section is for the husband’s attorney to confirm that he has received independent legal advice regarding the postnuptial agreement.

A. State and County: Fill in the form and county where the attorney is licensed to practice law and where the husband received the legal consultation.

B. Licensed Attorney: The attorney must sign and print their name, followed by the date when the legal consultation occurred.

C. Husband’s Signature: The husband must sign and print his name, followed by the date of signing. This confirms that he received independent legal advice, understood his rights and liabilities, and signed the acknowledgment voluntarily and without duress or undue influence.

 

Step 23: Wife’s acknowledgment of independent legal advice

This section is for the wife’s attorney to confirm that she has received independent legal advice regarding the postnuptial agreement.

A. State and County: Fill in the state and county where the attorney is licensed to practice law and the wife receives the legal consultation.

B. Licensed Attorney: The attorney must sign and print their name, followed by the date when the legal consultation occurred.

C. Wife’s Signature: The wife must sign and print her name, followed by the date of signing. This confirms that she received independent legal advice, understood her rights and liabilities, and signed the acknowledgment voluntarily and without duress or undue influence.

Attachment A (Husband’s assets & property): This attachment is a continuation of Section XIII(a), where the husband lists his assets and property in detail. Include all relevant information, including each asset’s description, value, and location.

Attachment B (Husband’s debt & liabilities): This attachment is a continuation of Section XIII(b), where the husband lists his debts and liabilities in detail. Be sure to include all relevant information, such as the creditor, the amount owed, and payment terms.

Attachment C (Wife’s assets & property): This attachment is a continuation of Section XIII(c), where the wife lists her assets and property in detail. Be sure to include all relevant information, such as each asset’s description, value, and location.

Attachment D (Wife’s debts & liabilities): This attachment is a continuation of Section XIII(d), where the wife lists her debts and liabilities in detail. Be sure to include all relevant information, such as the creditor, the amount owed, and payment terms.

Attachment E (Children outside the couple):  This attachment addresses child support for children from previous relationships.

Children outside the couple: List each child’s name, age, and parent(s) responsible for them. These children are referred to as the “Children Outside the Couple.”

Child support during marriage: Select how child support will be provided during the marriage. Options include the couple providing support, each spouse providing for their children, or another arrangement.

 

Step 24:Child support after marriage

CHILDREN OUTSIDE THE COUPLE. This section requires you to fill in the number of minor children who are not the biological or adopted children of the couple but will be affected by the divorce settlement. You need to fill in the name and age of each child and whether they are the child of the husband or the wife. This information is necessary because it helps the court understand the scope of the divorce settlement and the impact it will have on any children involved.

This section requires you to choose from three options regarding child support for the children outside the couple during the marriage. You need to select the first spouses who will support the children. The second option says each spouse will support their children. You need to choose the appropriate option based on your situation.

CHILD SUPPORT AFTER MARRIAGE. This section requires you to choose three options for child support for the children outside the couple after the divorce settlement. You need to select one option. The first option states that neither spouse will be obligated to pay child support for children outside the couple. 

The second option says that child support for the children outside the couple will be deferred to the local court or Child Support Services Department where you live.

The third option states that one spouse will make child support payments to the other in a specified amount per month. You need to choose the appropriate option based on your situation.

 

Step 25: Signatures and dates:

 The husband and wife must sign and print their names, followed by the date of signing. By signing, the couple agrees to the terms outlined in Attachment E.

CONCLUSION: correctly filling out a postnuptial agreement is crucial for establishing clear expectations and guidelines for dividing assets, debts, and other financial matters in the event of a divorce or separation. By following the steps and explanations provided in this guide, you can be confident that you’re creating a fair and transparent agreement considering your relationship’s unique circumstances. Remember that it’s essential to consult with independent legal counsel for both parties to ensure that you fully understand your rights and liabilities before signing the agreement. Once completed, a well-crafted postnuptial agreement can provide both parties with peace of mind, knowing that their financial interests are protected and they have a solid foundation for navigating potential future challenges together.