Post-Nuptial Agreements
- by Eric C. Nelson, Attorney

There are times when a person does not want a divorce, but needs protection against the possibility of divorce in the future. If you are the primary wage-earner in the marriage, continued duration of marriage will prejudice you in two big ways in the event of future divorce:
  1. As long as you remain married, all of your earnings will continue to be treated as marital in nature, which means that they belong as much to your spouse as to you; and
  2. The longer the duration of your marriage, the greater the likelihood of having to pay spousal maintenance. The duration and amount of spousal maintenance are also determined in part by the length of marriage.
Even if you’re not the primary wage-earner, you can be prejudiced by continued marriage if your spouse has a gambling addiction or other spending problem, and is dissipating your marital estate, or is racking up substantial marital debt.

The post-nuptial agreement is a great way to potentially save your marriage, where the alternative would otherwise need to be a divorce just to protect your financial interests from the prejudice of continued marriage.

So if you’d like to remain married, but don’t want to be prejudiced in the event of divorce, then a post-nuptial agreement is for you. This is like a pre-nuptial agreement, except that it is made during the marriage rather than before the marriage. It is a way of pre-determining issues of property and debt apportionment, and spousal maintenance, in the event of divorce. [1] In order for it to be valid, both parties must be represented by separate counsel.

  1. Minnesota Statute section 519.11, Subdivision 2.