Prenuptial Agreements vs. Postnuptial Agreements: What’s the Difference?

by Norris Law Group on July 9, 2014

Prenuptial Agreements vs. Postnuptial Agreements: What’s the Difference?There is, in fact, quite a bit of difference between prenuptial agreements (prenups) and postnuptial agreements (postnups). According to the American Bar Association, many engaged couples do not seem to be aware of the differences between the prenups and the postnups. These documents do not provide the same protections.

Prenups are vastly more powerful than prenups in the eyes of the Court. State divorce courts prefer to enforce agreements made prior to a marriage over agreements made after a marriage has already taken place. This may be due to the fact that typically, “everything is good” prior to a marriage, and the chance that one spouse is trying to “put anything over” on his or her spouse is unlikely. A prenup can also address the potential distribution of assets in the event of a divorce long before the assets have been accumulated by a married couple, so the chance that assets are being hidden or otherwise being kept from one spouse via fraud is lower as well.

Couples who fail to draft a prenup prior to a marriage may enter into a postnuptial agreement after getting married. In the eyes of the Court, postnups may be viewed as being “better than nothing,” But it is imperative that couples are aware that postnups simply do not protect each spouse as thoroughly as prenups. While judges rarely question the validity of prenuptial agreements, they often question the validity of postnups. Since postnups are drafted after a marriage has already taken place, judges are inclined to declare postnups invalid. This is usually because a judge must consider that with marriage comes a “fiduciary duty” for each spouse to protect and care for one another’s best interests in all possible ways, including financially.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the areas of family law, including prenuptial agreements. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.


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