"What is the difference between a Prenuptial Agreement and a Postnuptial Agreement?" is a common question among new clients. This brief video blog explains the difference between between Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement.
What is the difference between a Prenuptial Agreement and a Postnuptial Agreement?
Two people contemplating marriage may enter into a Prenuptial agreement before they are legally married.
Two people may also into a Postnuptial agreement, but this would occur only after they are legally married.
If both are contracts governed by state law, and the two people sign the agreements voluntarily, how are they different?
How each is treated will ultimately be determined by state law. But perhaps one of the biggest differences between Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements are the conditions required for each to become actual contracts that are legally binding on the parties and enforceable by a court.
Each state will have its own body of law making such determinations, but what is important for you to know is that the requirements to become valid contracts will likely be very different in your state for a Pre vs a Post nuptial agreement.
So if your prenuptial agreement expired after say 10 years, and you and your spouse simply executed an exact copy of your prenuptial agreement extending it for another 20 years, would it be a valid contract?
Depending on your jurisdiction, very likely it would not.
Given the potential for unintended consequences from entering into Pre and Post nuptial agreements, it is essential for two people considering them to each retain their own lawyer to represent their interests when negotiating and drafting such contracts.