A prenuptial agreement is a contract you and your spouse sign before you get married. It explains what will happen in case you get a divorce or if one spouse dies. It can explain which spouse will get the assets that were acquired during the marriage or which spouse is responsible for the debt incurred during the marriage. A prenuptial agreement can also explain how alimony will be calculated in the event of death or divorce.
A postnuptial agreement can address all of these issues but it is signed during the marriage. There are many reasons for having a postnuptial agreement. Maybe you never got around to signing a prenuptial agreement. Maybe you recently inherited money and want to make sure your spouse doesn’t get it in case you eventually divorce. Maybe you and your spouse are thinking about divorce and feel that it would be easier to enter into an agreement while you are still on good terms.
Couples that are living together but who are not married can enter into a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement can address any issues that arise during the course of the relationship, such as who pays the mortgage, or how household expenses will be divided. A cohabitation agreement can address how certain things will be divided in case the relationship ends, such as the house, or other assets or debts accumulated during the relationship.
Lydia recommends that you have an attorney draft your prenuptial, postnuptial, and cohabitation agreements to ensure they are done correctly and so that they will be enforceable in the event of death or divorce. You may be giving up important rights by signing these agreements, so it is important to meet with an attorney so that you understand your rights.