Getting engaged is an exciting life moment. It’s normal for that excitement to turn to stress when it comes to planning your wedding, writing your vows and preparing for life as a married couple. These are all significant for the big day and beyond, but there is another important item you don’t want to overlook. Have you considered a prenuptial agreement?
Nowadays, more couples are creating prenups. The reason that prenuptial agreements are growing in popularity is because millennials are getting married later in life than previous generations. When they tie the knot, they tend to have established careers, properties or businesses. There is more at stake for individuals in this situation than someone who is just starting out. If a divorce should happen, you will want to protect the assets you acquired before marriage.
Is it possible to alter a prenuptial agreement?
You might be wondering how it is possible to prepare for dividing assets when you don’t know what your life will look like should a divorce happen five, 10 or 20 years from now. Should you need to make changes, a prenup and postnuptial agreement accomplish the same goals. The difference is whether you had an attorney draft the document before or after the marriage took place.
For either type of agreement to be enforceable, there must be a full financial disclosure and full understanding of the agreement at inception.
Additional important points to note:
- Changing the agreement has limits. Both spouses need to be on board with a change in the document.
- Timing. If you’re contemplating divorce, then it is too late. The point of a prenup is to create preset terms that define ownership in writing to save time and distress if your relationship takes a turn for the worst.
- A prenuptial or postnuptial can be an effective estate planning tool. The agreements can address property division at death, divorce or both.
If the court deems an agreement enforceable, it is binding as to property to divide at divorce and advisory as to maintenance.
As your life progresses and you and your partner increase your financial wealth, be sure to keep your legal documents up to date. Take action when major changes occur to prevent complications in the event of a divorce.