Prenups and Postnups: What’s the Difference?

If you are engaged and discussing financials, you might be wondering what the difference is between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Prenups and postnups both determine how a couple will divide their assets in the event of a divorce. The biggest difference is that prenups occur before marriage and postnups occur after a couple is married. A couple usually considers these types of agreements if one person is bringing a lot more wealth to the relationship and wants to protect those assets. Or if one is expecting to inherit large sums of money. Although both have their critics, many find that these types of agreements are the best way to protect your financial wealth.

Prenups and Postnups: What’s the Difference and Do You Need One?

What is a Prenup?

Prenups and postnups are very similar in concept, they just occur at different times. A prenuptial is an agreement between two prospective spouses that determines how their assets will be divided if they divorce. A lot of people feel that a prenup is anti-romantic. They think that it means a couple is already assuming they’ll divorce before they even get married. However, in the US, 50% of marriages end in divorce. Realistically, prenups are a wise choice to protect your financial security.

Who Needs a Prenup?

A couple might discuss prenups and postnups if one partner is bringing more money into the marriage than the other. Similarly, if one has a large estate or is going to inherit a lot of money, they may want one. A prenup prevents a couple from going through a long, drawn-out divorce if they decide to end their marriage. Prenups are especially common for people entering their second, third, or fourth marriages.

What is a Postnup?

Prenups and postnups are very similar, however, a postnup occurs after a couple marries. Other than timing, it’s basically the same as a prenuptial agreement. These have become more common in recent years. They are now legal in all 50 states. Like a prenup, a postnup decides how your assets will be divided in the case of your marriage ending. Similar to prenups, they don’t make any concessions regarding your children or future children.

Who Needs a Postnup?

Since prenups and postnups are so similar, you might be wondering why some opt for postnups. The main reason is simple convenience. Often, the planning stage of an engagement is so stressful and busy that a couple simply doesn’t have time to sit down and draw up a prenup. If this is the case, they’ll often decide to do a postnup instead. This is also an option for couples who feel that the conversation will be awkward and would rather wait until after they marry to have it. Like a prenup, postnups are encouraged if partners are bringing significantly different amounts of wealth into a marriage.

The bottom line is that prenups and postnups are very similar. The only difference between them is that prenuptial take place before marriage and postnuptials occur after the couple says “I do.” However, both of them are legal agreements that spell out what will happen to financial assets in the case of a divorce. If you decide that you and your partner should come to an agreement on either a prenup or postnup, you should consult an experienced attorney. They’ll help guide you through the process and make sure that you are protected financially in the case of your marriage dissolving. Hopefully, you’ll never need to go through the stress of a divorce, but if you do, having a prenup or postnup will make the process much easier.