That's it! I want a postnup!

A new kind of legal agreement lets you haggle over your assets while remaining married.

By Page Rockwell

Published December 20, 2005 7:29PM (EST)

Monday's Boston Globe alerted us to a hot new marriage trend: the postnuptial agreement. Kind of a cross between a prenup and a divorce, the postnup involves the unhappy couple and their lawyers sitting down to redraw their financial obligations, as well as any other hot-button issues like religion or household chores, in an attempt to save their marriage. The new agreement is arbitrated by the couple's legal counsel (a handy thing if one party violently resists paying for Timmy's braces) and becomes a legal document.

So, this would seem to cut down on anyone conveniently "forgetting" a previous decision to get a joint checking account. And I could see it being very helpful for families in which, say, the mom does most of the childcare and housework and wants to find a way to divide those responsibilities more equitably.

But if one party doesn't follow the rules as spelled out in the postnup, it's not like the cops are going to show up. Instead, the Globe reports, "if that happens, the postnuptial would probably be viewed as a template for a future separation agreement or divorce settlement."

Still, even having that template on file could save some couples a lot of headache down the road. Do you think Mr. and Mrs. Federline read the Globe?

Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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