Marriage is a binding contract, and when two people decide to tie the knot, they don’t usually think about what might happen if the marriage comes to an end. However, with divorce rates at nearly 50%, it’s becoming more and more common for couples to consider prenuptial agreements.
But what if you didn’t sign a prenup before getting married? Can you still protect your assets? In this article, we’ll explore whether or not you can sign a prenup after marriage.
What is a Prenup?
Before we dive into whether or not you can sign a prenup after marriage, let’s first take a look at what a prenup is. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that outlines how a couple’s assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. These agreements are especially useful for individuals who have a significant amount of assets or debt, or those who are entering into a second marriage.
Can You Sign a Prenup After Marriage?
The short answer is yes, you can sign a prenup after marriage. In fact, the legal term for a prenup signed after marriage is a postnuptial agreement. However, postnuptial agreements are not as common as prenuptial agreements.
Reasons to Sign a Postnuptial Agreement
There are several reasons why a couple might consider signing a postnuptial agreement. For example, if one spouse inherits a large sum of money or property after getting married, they may want to protect those assets in the event of a divorce. Similarly, if one spouse starts a successful business after getting married, they may want to ensure that they retain ownership of that business in the event of a divorce.
Another reason why couples might consider signing a postnuptial agreement is if they did not sign a prenup before getting married, but their financial situation has changed significantly since then. For example, if one spouse has taken on a significant amount of debt since getting married, they may want to protect the other spouse from being financially responsible for that debt in the event of a divorce.
How Does a Postnuptial Agreement Work?
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it outlines how a couple’s assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. The main difference is that a postnup is signed after the wedding, while a prenup is signed before the wedding.
To create a postnuptial agreement, both spouses must fully disclose their financial assets and liabilities. They must also agree on how those assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. Once the agreement is signed, it becomes a legally binding document.
Enforcing a Postnuptial Agreement
If a couple decides to sign a postnuptial agreement, it is important to understand that the agreement will only be enforceable if it meets the following criteria:
- Both parties must have entered into the agreement voluntarily, without coercion or pressure from the other party.
- Both parties must fully disclose their financial assets and liabilities.
- The agreement must be fair and reasonable at the time it is signed.
- The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.
If any of these criteria are not met, it is possible that the postnuptial agreement could be declared invalid by a court.
While prenuptial agreements are more common than postnuptial agreements, there are situations where signing a postnup after marriage can be beneficial. Whether you’ve inherited a significant amount of money or property, started a successful business, or simply want to protect your assets in the event of a divorce, a postnuptial agreement can help provide peace of mind.
However, it’s important to remember that these agreements are only enforceable if they meet certain requirements, so it’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who can help you create an agreement that will hold up in court.