What are the key elements that should be included in a postnuptial agreement?

postnuptial agreement, also known as a post-marital agreement, is a legal contract entered into by a married couple after their wedding. It outlines the division of assets, debts, and other financial matters in the event of a divorce or separation. While the specific elements of a postnuptial agreement may vary depending on the couple’s unique circumstances, there are several key elements that should generally be included

Identification of the parties

The agreement should clearly identify the names and addresses of both spouses.

Effective date

The agreement should specify the date on which it becomes effective.


This section provides a brief background and context for the agreement, explaining the reasons for entering into it.

Assets and debts

A comprehensive list of all marital assets and debts should be included, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, vehicles, and any other significant assets. The agreement should specify how these assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation.

Separate property

The agreement should define what constitutes separate property, which typically includes assets acquired before the marriage, inheritances, gifts, and personal injury settlements. It should clarify that these assets will remain the sole property of the spouse who owns them.

Alimony or spousal support

The agreement may address the issue of alimony or spousal support, including the amount, duration, and conditions under which it may be awarded.

Child custody and support

If the couple has children, the agreement may include provisions related to child custody, visitation rights, and child support. However, it’s important to note that child custody and support arrangements are subject to the court’s discretion and may not be fully enforceable in a postnuptial agreement.

Modification and termination

The agreement should outline the circumstances under which it can be modified or terminated, such as mutual consent or a change in circumstances.

Governing law and jurisdiction

The agreement should specify the state laws that will govern its interpretation and enforcement, as well as the jurisdiction where any disputes will be resolved.

Full disclosure

Both spouses should provide a complete and accurate disclosure of their financial information, ensuring transparency and fairness in the agreement.


Independent legal advice

It is advisable for each spouse to seek independent legal counsel to review the agreement and ensure that their rights and interests are protected.


Execution and notarization

The agreement should be signed and dated by both spouses in the presence of a notary public to ensure its validity and enforceability.