Love is grand – but prenuptial agreements are simply practical. In this day and age, couples are often delaying marriage long enough that one or both parties end up entering marriage well after they’ve already established their careers, made investments and acquired property. A well-drafted prenup can protect both parties’ interests if the marriage doesn’t work out.
Over the years, however, that old prenuptial agreement you signed may start to feel outdated or even unfair – and you may not be alone in your feelings. Your spouse may be equally unsure about its relevance to your current situation.
Can you renegotiate? You can. Postnuptial agreements, so long as they are entered into in good faith (meaning that neither party is already planning a divorce), are often used to modify prenups.
When should you consider renegotiating?
Every situation is different, but here are the most common reasons prenups are renegotiated and replaced with postnups:
- There’s been marital trouble in the past that needs to be addressed. Maybe your spouse had an affair, for example, and you are only willing to remain in the marriage if you are given a clause in your postnup that gives you a larger share of the marital assets if they have another.
- The old division of marital property seems unreasonable. Perhaps your spouse carved out protections for their small business in your old prenup that no longer seem fair because you’ve since taken on an integral role in their company, making it feel just as much yours as it is theirs.
- You feel entitled to more spousal maintenance. Maybe you were actively involved in your career when you married, so you didn’t need or want any kind of alimony. Since then, however, you’ve agreed to sacrifice your career in order to raise your children and support your spouse’s career.
- Your spouse is starting a business. If so, you may want to make sure that you don’t end up partially responsible for their business debts in a divorce (and they may want to protect their business from the property division process).
Almost any major life change can cause you to reconsider your prenuptial agreement. Skillful legal guidance can help you see where and how to go about navigating that process.