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How do prenuptial and postnuptial agreements differ?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2022 | Family Law, Marital Agreements |

Many couples in New Jersey might consider drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to protect their assets. These legal documents are very similar but differ at the same time.

Understanding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a formal legal document that is drawn up by one partner and presented to the other before the couple gets married. It outlines the terms of a divorce in the event the couple eventually goes that route. A prenup protects a person by describing how assets are divided if the marriage ends.

With a postnuptial agreement, you must already be married to obtain that legal tool. It’s similar to a prenup but is created after the marriage has already taken place. Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnup allows each party to retain their own assets and property if they end up in divorce court.

Both of these legal agreements focus on the division of assets, property, business interests and sometimes, expectations of each party regarding their household or parental responsibilities during the marriage.

How prenups and postnups differ

The main difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is that prenups are created before the couple gets married while postnups are drafted after marriage. Prenups also often carry a stigma, sending the message that there is a lack of trust. This can make things awkward as a couple prepares to walk down the aisle and take their wedding vows. It’s also why many people skip getting a prenup.

After a couple is already married, it might be more comfortable to bring up the idea of a postnuptial agreement. There is often already an established trust between both spouses, so they might be more open to such a legal agreement.

Choosing to get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is not an easy decision to reach. However, it could be a valuable tool for your future if your marriage ends.

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