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Is it possible to modify a prenuptial agreement after marriage?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Family Law |

In Connecticut, as well as in many other states, prenuptial agreements are binding legal contracts that can help protect a wide range of personal assets. This could be from future inheritance to business interests in the event of a divorce. Before marriage, couples finalize these agreements. They detail the division of assets and responsibilities should the marriage end.

However, circumstances can change after marriage—for you or your spouse. You might unexpectedly inherit assets or build a lucrative business years after the wedding. When this happens, you might consider modifying the original agreement to align with your current situation.

This raises the question: Can you modify a prenuptial agreement after the marriage?

You will need a postnuptial agreement

In Connecticut, the answer is no. You cannot just edit the original prenuptial agreement. If you need to make changes to the document after the marriage, you must do so in the form of a postnuptial agreement.

This contract, while similar to a prenuptial agreement, is entered into during the marriage, not before. It must also contain the same elements and meet the following requirements:

  1. Be in writing: Generally, oral agreements are not enforceable.
  2. Full disclosure of assets and liabilities: Both spouses must fully and honestly inform one another of their financial situations.
  3. Voluntary agreement: Both spouses must enter into the contract at their own will without coercion or undue influence.
  4. Fair and reasonable: The agreement must be fair and reasonable both at the time of its creation and at the time of divorce.
  5. Independent legal counsel: Ideally, each party should have their own attorney to protect their interests.

In addition to these provisions, both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have limitations. They cannot impose anything that would harm the couple’s children, such as limitations on child support, custody or visitation rights.

Create a contract with a legal hold

It is impossible to modify the terms of a prenuptial agreement after marriage. Fortunately, the option to create a postnuptial agreement does exist. However, creating one requires careful legal consideration and the absence of unconscionable elements in the contract.

If you are considering such an agreement, you should seek the assistance of a lawyer experienced in family law. They can help you understand the full implications and legal requirements of a postnuptial agreement.