Nobody goes into a marriage thinking it’s going to end. However, there are sometimes extra steps that need to be taken in order to ensure both sides are protected in the event of a divorce. Here is some information on both prenups and postnups and how to decide if they are the right decision for you.
WHAT ARE THEY?
Both are agreements of what will happen if the marriage comes to an end or if one person dies. This often includes who gets what and spousal support agreements. It can also pre-determine how items obtained during the marriage, such as the purchase of a home, are split.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Like the names say, one is an agreement that takes place before a wedding occurs (pre) while the other is filed after the wedding happens (post). In the case of a postnup, this may mean that many assets are already assumed as ‘marital property’ which may affect what the agreement entails.
WHAT CAN THEY NOT INCLUDE?
Both prenups and postnups cannot include plans for child support of future or existing children. They also can’t include personal information, such as where you’ll spend holidays as a couple or how your children will be raised. They must stick to strictly financial information in order to be approved by a judge.
DO I NEED ONE?
While often associated with celebrities, the need for this type of agreement is dependent on individual assets. This is especially true for more complex situations, such as a second marriage or when one member of the couple makes substantially more than the other. However, drawing up these agreements can be expensive, so compare the pros and cons for your specific situation before taking this step.
Disclaimer: This guide is meant to be a helpful starting point and not as legal advice. As every situation is different, speak to an attorney regarding your specific circumstances.