How are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements different?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2023 | Divorce |

Some New Jersey residents decide it’s best to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement drawn up. Both of these documents can protect a married person in the event of a divorce. While they are very similar, they have some differences.

Prenuptial agreements explained

Prenuptial agreements are legal contracts that a person engaged to be married presents to their fiancé before the wedding. It usually explains how assets are to be divided if the couple gets a divorce. In some cases, it can also outline the expectations of both spouses during the marriage and state how much money the person receiving the prenup receives in the divorce settlement.

Understanding postnuptial agreements

Postnuptial agreements are good alternatives to prenups. Although many people are uncomfortable about presenting a prenup to their future spouse before marriage, a postnuptial agreement is created after the couple is already married. Some find that it’s easier to bring up the subject of what happens to assets if divorce is in the future. However, they are frowned upon by New Jersey courts.

How these legal tools differ

The biggest difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is that a prenup is drawn up prior to the wedding and a postnuptial agreement is created after marriage. Both legal documents cover many of the same matters such as alimony and property and debt division. A postnuptial agreement may not include expectations of the roles of either spouse because the couple is often already settled into married life.

Prenups are appropriate for anyone who’s been married before, has children from a previous relationship or owns a business. A postnuptial agreement is better for couples who have been married for years and have problems but want to try to save their marriage. Both agreements can also help people safeguard large inheritances they want to keep as separate property.



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