4 facts about prenuptial agreements

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract made to detail each spouse’s rights in an anticipatory divorce or death. Prenups have had a history of being taboo and only for the rich, thus, people rarely made them. However, prenups have grown immensely popular amongst newer generations in the last decade.

Even though prenups are more widely known than ever, people still have many questions. To better understand what you’re making, you should consider the following facts:

#1. Prenups can make fairness in a marriage

Prenups aren’t made because couples expect to divorce. Instead, prenups are often made to ensure both spouses understand what their commitment entails. Factually speaking, prenups have to consider the fairness of both parties.

Fairness is a loose term, however. Essentially, the prenup can’t be made with coercion or with the intent to deprive someone of their assets. For example, someone may be coerced into a marriage if their significant other threatens to call off the marriage without a prenup.

#2. You can’t get a prenup after marriage

Prenups are made before marriage. After marriage, couples don’t have the option to make them. However, couples can still make a postnuptial agreement.

A postnup is designed much like a prenup. The biggest difference is that it’s made after marriage. As an advantage, a postnup can amend a prenup. This is useful for people who inherit assets or start a business during marriage and want to ensure it’s protected from a possible divorce.

#3. Premarital assets can be easy to discuss

Many people often decide in their prenups that premarital assets should stay with the original owner after a divorce. This is done since it’s commonly believed that what you bring into a marriage was yours to begin with. That being said, a prenup can declare any assets obtained during the marriage are subject to division.

#4. Prenups are often made with legal help

Prenups are complicated legal documents. It may be beneficial for you to have someone with legal experience review your prenup, especially if you are left with questions.

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