Can You Sign a Prenup After Marriage?

November 10th, 2022

As the name would imply, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement determining how to divide your assets in the event of a divorce or dissolution of the marriage.  So, you can’t enter into a prenuptial agreement after marriage, but that does not prevent you from reach an agreement on how to treat assets in the event of a divorce.  While it is not discussed as frequently as prenuptial agreements, you can sign a post-nuptial agreement.

Just like prenups, postnuptial agreements are very common. They’re designed to determine who owns what in the event of a divorce, but they are also valuable documents for happily married couples. Financial issues are cited as some of the key causes of marital disharmony, and drafting a postnuptial agreement can help you communicate better about finances, supporting a healthy marriage.

So, how does a postnupt work?  Here, we explore what a postnuptial agreement is, how to get one, and whether a postnup or prenup is right for you and your partner.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement? 

There are three types of property, premarital, marital and non-marital.  A postnuptial agreement outlines which assets will remain yours, which belong to your spouse, and which assets should be divided between you, should you choose to divorce.

If either you or your partner is a business owner, has a higher net worth, debt, or has to give up work to take care of children, a prenup or postnup can be highly beneficial for both of you. You can learn more by reading our blog post or listening to our podcast on “What is a Prenup and Who Needs One?”

Are Postnuptial Agreements Enforceable?

Yes – postnuptial agreements are enforceable, although a divorce court may not always agree with the document entirely.

As long as standard contractual rules are followed and the agreement doesn’t contradict with state laws (for example around financial support for children in the event of divorce) postnups and prenups are considered legally enforceable documents.

How to Get a Postnuptial Agreement

Whether you live in Maryland, the District of Columbia, or Virginia, it’s important that you work with an experienced legal team that is local to you, to ensure your postnuptial agreement is as valid as possible.

Request a consultation with a prenup and postnup attorney to get started.

Prenup vs. Postnup: Which is Right for Me?

So, what is the difference between a prenup and postnup? A postnuptial agreement gives you all the benefits of a prenup; other than the fact you’re already married at the time of signing, it’s essentially the same thing.

Perhaps your financial circumstances have changed since you got married – maybe you’ve received some inheritance or one of you has taken out a loan. These are great reasons to get a postnup.

If you’d like to set stronger financial boundaries to support your marriage, or have assets you’d prefer to keep should you separate, either a prenup or a postnuptial agreement can help.  Providing a potential spouse limited time to review a prenuptial agreement and/or not having sufficient time to seek legal counsel to consult with for a prenuptial agreement may be a basis for a Court to set aside a prenuptial agreement later on.   So, if you’re engaged and have sufficient time to draft and review a prenuptial agreement with an attorney prior to the wedding day, choose a prenuptial agreement, but if there is limited time to review a prenuptial agreement or you’re already married, a postnuptial agreement is right for you.

Get a Postnuptial Agreement in Maryland

The skilled attorneys at JGL Law can help you draft a postnuptial agreement with as much integrity and legal weight as possible. Contact our legal team today to schedule a consultation, for a happier marriage now, and a secure future.

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