Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements

No one wants to enter marriage already contemplating divorce, but it can be a prudent move, especially if you’ve been married before. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements both determine how assets will be divided in the event the marriage ends.

What’s the difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements? Here’s a brief overview of what they are and how they work.

Prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are entered into before the marriage occurs. They specify how assets will be divided in case of divorce, or if one spouse dies with children from a previous marriage. Spouses can arrange for property division, alimony and even insert personal clauses (within reason). They can also protect your earned income during the marriage, separate property and unearned income, like inheritances.

Postnuptial agreements

Postnuptial agreements are becoming more common. These agreements are entered into after the marriage has already taken place. These are typically used in a few situations: the couple didn’t get around to creating a prenuptial agreement before the wedding, the marriage is in danger and the spouses want to decide how property could be divided or a spouse has recently received an large gift or inheritance and wants to clarify that it’s theirs.

Pre- and postnuptial considerations

Postnuptial agreements are scrutinized more than prenuptial agreements. However, it’s important that both parties understand what they’re agreeing to and how that will affect them in case of divorce or death. Certain clauses are unenforceable, such as predetermined custody agreements or clauses about weight gain. Parties should have an attorney review the agreement before signing.

Pre- and postnuptial agreements can save couples a lot of grief during the divorce process—especially if you choose mediation to work out any remaining issues.

The knowledgeable divorce mediators at Solutions Divorce Mediation in Long Island can help. Call us today to learn more about your mediation options.

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