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What are prenups and postnups?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2023 | Family Law |

For many people, marriage is the single greatest thing that will happen in their lives. However, there’s a lot people have to prepare for when dedicating one’s life to another. And, while it’s not an easy topic to discuss, there’s always the possibility of divorce.

So, in preparation for marriage, you may want to consider making a prenuptial agreement. This legal agreement ensures that each spouse understands what would happen if there’s a divorce. How does this work? Here’s what you should know:

Making preparation before marriage for a potential split

A prenup, as stated above, protects many of your rights if your marriage ends in divorce. For starters, you and your soon-to-be spouse may discuss what happens to premarital assets if there’s a divorce. People, generally, make it so that premarital assets return to their original owners.  

Additionally, couples may discuss alimony. Alimony is a kind of spousal support that is given to one spouse to ensure they continue living to their quality of life. Alimony, typically, only lasts for a fraction of a marriage. In other words, a marriage that lasted for six years may award a spouse with three years of alimony.

It should be understood that prenups are made before marriage. Once a marriage is officiated, couples no longer has the right to make a prenup.

Making agreements after marriage to add protections 

While the previous statement may make you worry about your options if you’re already married, you still have another option: a postnuptial agreement. A postnup works nearly exactly like a prenup. The difference, however, is that a postnup is made after marriage.

The main benefit of a postnup is redefining aspects of a couple’s finances. They’re often used to protect a business or an inheritance. In some cases, people want to update their prenup with a postnup to include things like inheritance or businesses. 

If you believe you need a prenup or postnup, then you may need to understand your legal options.