Some couples in California fail to get a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. However, the prenup is not the only way to protect the assets of each individual in a divorce or separation. A postnuptial agreement has similar benefits and can be entered into after walking down the aisle.

The California Family Code Division 4 Part 5 Chapter 1 outlines the general provisions of marital agreements which include both a prenup and a postnuptial agreement. The document can alter the rights each spouse has to property. The document must be in the county’s office of the recorder.

When both parties acknowledge and execute the document, it is legally binding in court. The postnuptial agreement can dictate who gets what property in the event of divorce the same as a prenuptial agreement. Emancipated minors can benefit from signing one as long as their marriage is legal in that county.

A Huffington Post article details the issues a postnuptial agreement can address for a couple. Beyond the separation of property, the agreement can outline the future goals regarding children of the marriage, children from previous marriages, spousal roles and protections in case of illness or death. If the couple or one spouse owns a business, detailing how to handle the business in case of illness, death or disability can also go into the agreement.

The postnuptial agreement gives the couple the opportunity to outline how to allocate earnings, debts and savings. By placing these items in an agreement, the couple places their financial and legal cards on the table both during the marriage and in case of divorce.