Can you get a prenup after marriage? Unfortunately, the answer is no. You can’t have a prenuptial agreement after the wedding has taken place. These agreements are only valid when signed before marriage.
That said, if you want to organize your finances and properties after getting married, you may consider a postnup agreement.
In this post, we’ll help you differentiate between postnups and prenups. We’ll also guide you on getting an enforceable postnup.
What Is a Postnup Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a legal document that spells out how assets will be divided between each spouse in the case of divorce.
These assets can include finances, properties, and other types of belongings that one of the spouses has earned during the marriage.
Although postnups seem like a great alternative to prenups, they unfortunately come with some drawbacks.
Is a Postnup as Good as a Prenup?
Prenups and postnups share some similarities, but they also have core differences. The most obvious difference is that prenups should be signed before the wedding, while postnups should be signed after the marriage.
Another apparent difference is that postnuptial agreements can address significant changes in post-marriage financial situations.
Prenups are considered a protective measure to help spouses protect the assets they own before marriage. Conversely, postnups are often signed to reorganize the dramatic financial changes after marriage. This can include loans, inheritance, and children-related finances.
Why Postnups May Not Be as Good as Prenups?
A few factors can make postnuptial agreements less valuable than prenups, namely:
Some States Don’t Uphold Postnups
A significant problem with postnups is that a lot of states don’t uphold them. This is because postnuptial agreements are a relatively new concept.
For this reason, you’ll need to carefully check your state’s regulations regarding postnups before considering getting one.
That being said, this type of agreement has started to gain more popularity recently.
They’re Difficult to Enforce
Because of the novelty of the postnup concept, these agreements are harder to enforce than prenups.
So, even if your state upholds postnups, it’ll be more challenging for the court to enforce them compared to prenups.
Nonetheless, if your state upholds postnups, getting one is still a reasonable idea if you don’t have a prenup.
Why You May Consider Having a Postnuptial Agreement?
Despite being relatively difficult to enforce, postnups are still a good option for multiple reasons, including:
To Minimize Conflict About Finances
Like many couples, you and your spouse may have difficulty communicating about your finances. So, you can run into a lot of conflicts if you, sadly, expect any potential separation in the future.
In this case, an agreement such as postnups can make everything clear for both parties. It will spell out how the assets will be divided between each of you if there’s a divorce. This will eliminate a lot of disputes and misunderstandings when it’s time to divide assets.
To Protect Post-Marriage Gifts and Inheritances
Some people receive or acquire new valuable assets after marriage, such as inheritance. If you’re one of those and don’t know how to protect your new assets, postnups can come in handy.
You can use this agreement to delineate that your new assets are separate properties. That way, you won’t have to divide them between you and your spouse in case of separation.
To Manage Post-Marriage Financial Changes
You may experience a dramatic change in your financial situation after marriage. This can include starting a successful business or earning a massive amount of money.
In this case, you may need to get a postnup to help organize your new assets. The agreement will align both spouses on allocating new debt and assets in the case of separation.
If You Anticipate the End of Your Marriage
It’s hard to say, but 43% of first marriages are likely to fail. So, if you run into continuous trouble in your marriage and expect near separation, you need to think seriously about postnup.
A postnup will protect your assets and that of your partner. It can also reduce divorce costs.
Are Postnups Enforceable?
In most cases, postnuptial agreements are enforced in the states that uphold them. However, the court may implement parts of the agreement and discard others if they contradict the state’s laws.
So, you need to be fully aware of the document clauses. In addition, you should ensure that the document follows standard contractual rules in the state.
This is essential for the court to consider it in the first place.
Nevertheless, postnups are more challenging to enforce compared to prenups. For this reason, you need to work with highly experienced law professionals when creating this document.
A seasoned lawyer can help you draft a document that is more likely to be enforced. To achieve this, they’ll include the most appropriate clauses and language in the document.
How Do I Get a Postnuptial Agreement?
There are a few steps that you need to follow to get an enforceable postnuptial agreement:
1. Refer to a Legal Expert
Before taking any step, you need to get advice from a seasoned attorney in your state. Ask them how enforceable these agreements are in your state and how to create a valid one.
2. Identify What to Include
Before drafting the postnuptial agreement, you’ll need to be clear about how to divide your assets and those of your spouse.
You should outline the assets that will remain yours and those that will belong to your spouse. You also need to determine how you’ll treat debt.
3. Create the Postnup
When you have the plan of assets and debt division in mind, you need to start drafting the agreement.
In this stage, you should work closely with an attorney to ensure you draft the document in a way that complies with state laws.
The attorney will also ensure that the way the document is drafted meets your needs and those of your spouse.
4. Double-check the Agreement
Needless to say, postnups are a significant commitment. So, you need to review the agreement multiple times before signing it.
You should ensure that you understand all the agreement’s content and that they meet your needs.
If you come across any unclear parts in the agreement, don’t hesitate to ask the attorney to clarify them for you.
5. Sign the Postnup
The last step is to sign the agreement with your spouse. In some states, you may need the contribution of witnesses or notaries at the time of signing.
Your attorney will provide you with this information anyway.
Can you get a prenup after marriage? The answer is no, but you can sign a postnup if you still need a document to organize the division of your assets between you and your spouse.
Postnups can do a great job of reducing financial-related conflicts and reorganizing dramatic changes in finances after marriage. They can also help in protecting your gifts and inheritance.
However, when getting a postnup, work closely with a seasoned attorney. This is to draft an agreement with a high probability of being enforced.