A spousal agreement is an agreement before marriage or during marriage that alters or maintains the nature of the property that is the subject of the agreement. Although prenuptial agreements are the most common type of spousal agreement, couples can alter their property interests relative to one another throughout their marriage. Couples can also alter their property interests after marriage with postnuptial agreements.
The spousal agreement is meant to settle any disputes that may arise regarding property ownership, alimony, debt of marriage, child custody, child visitation rights, tax, and insurance.
A spousal agreement should be used if:
- One spouse makes considerably more money or owns considerably more assets than the other.
- Both spouses have decided to legally separate and could come to an agreement on how to divide your property.
- Both spouses have not gotten a divorce yet, but want to legally separate prior to actually getting a divorce.
A spousal agreement must conform to several requirements to be valid, including:
- It must be in writing
- Both spouses must fully disclose their financial assets
- The agreement cannot encourage divorce
- Neither party entered into the agreement under duress
Spousal agreements are sometimes complex and difficult to negotiate. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you draft a spousal agreement that will be legally enforceable. Your lawyer can also explain your rights and responsibilities.