Can You Get a Prenup After Marriage?

by LegalFix
Posted: April 26, 2024
postnuptial agreement

Though love is the cornerstone of a marriage, a well-crafted legal agreement acts as a safety net. This ensures both partners enter the union with clear eyes, fully aware of their rights and responsibilities no matter what happens. It is important to remember that if you get married you will have a prenup—the only question is whether you and your spouse will negotiate the terms or if you will default to the terms set by your state’s laws. And for couples who are already married, one common question is: can you get a prenup after marriage? 

The simple answer is yes—although the document is referred to by a different term because it is made after (post) the nuptials (marriage ceremony) rather than before (pre) the nuptials. Thus, while a prenup is established before marriage, a postnuptial agreement—often shortened to postnup—can be created after you are already married. A postnup functions similarly to a prenup, outlining how assets, liabilities, and potential spousal support will be handled if the marriage dissolves. 

Similar to a prenup or premarital agreement, the parties to a postnup or postnuptial agreement can agree to convert or partition community property (in community property states) or marital property (in equitable distribution states)—property that is or will be jointly owned by the spouses—into separate property that is not subject to division upon divorce. 

Why Consider a Postnup?

Several reasons might lead a couple to consider a postnuptial agreement. Since life is rarely static, a couple's financial landscape can evolve significantly after marriage. Perhaps one spouse inherits a significant amount of money, starts a successful business, or incurs unexpected debt. A postnup can help navigate these changes and ensure both parties are comfortable with how these new assets or liabilities would be addressed in a potential divorce.

As couples navigate life together, their individual and shared goals and priorities might also evolve. A postnup allows them to revisit their wishes regarding asset division and spousal support in light of these changes, fostering open communication and potential adjustments to their initial marital contract.

Similar to prenups, postnups can also be valuable estate planning tools, especially for couples with children from previous relationships or specific inheritance desires. A postnup helps ensure assets are distributed according to their wishes, minimizing potential conflicts and confusion for heirs.

Crucial Considerations for Postnups

While postnups offer flexibility and adaptability, it's important to remember the legal implications of each aspect. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key aspects of creating these agreements. 

First, both parties must fully disclose their financial situation and any potential claims they might have on each other's assets or income. This transparency is crucial for ensuring the agreement is fair and enforceable.

Similar to prenups, it's highly advisable for each spouse to have independent legal counsel (an attorney) review the postnuptial agreement. This ensures each party understands their rights and responsibilities under the agreement and feels comfortable with its terms.

Another point to bear in mind is that a postnup, like a prenup, must be signed voluntarily. For the document to be legally binding, both parties must enter the agreement without coercion or pressure that makes the agreement involuntary, and a court can declare the agreement void if it was not entered voluntarily; was a product of fraud, duress, or coercion; or was unconscionable when executed. But remember—just because a party drives a hard bargain doesn’t mean an agreement was coerced or involuntary. 

Know the Laws with LegalFix

Consulting with a qualified family law attorney in your state is crucial for navigating the complexities of postnuptial agreements and ensuring they are legally sound and enforceable. By approaching this process with open communication, transparency, and professional guidance, couples can leverage postnups to adapt their marital contract and potentially safeguard their future during unforeseen circumstances. 

Whether you want to know if you can get a prenup after marriage or just want a better understanding of how our legal system works, LegalFix is your go-to source for free legal information. You can find helpful articles and state-specific explanations of nearly 1,600 legal topics and browse the state and federal statutes to better understand the laws that affect you. Just visit to find all this content—and check back often for more valuable legal products and services coming soon.