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

Woman with ring in palm putting it in man’s hand 

Prenups are gaining popularity among American millennials so they can protect their interests. Prenuptial and postnuptial arrangements are legal documents that define what becomes of a married couple’s property and assets after the dissolution of their marriage or if one of them passes away.

Both agreements also spell out the spouses’ rights along with their responsibilities in the event of a divorce. They address concerns such as financial asset division, alimony, and their child’s upbringing. They could also stipulate that heirlooms, antiques, and other sentimental items remain within the original families.

Prenuptial vs Postnuptial Agreements

There are a few distinctions between both agreements. A prenup is completed before the wedding, whereas a postnup is arranged after the couple marries.


Divorce courts presume that coercion is less likely when independent people sign papers and assets are merged before the marriage. The advantage of establishing a prenuptial agreement is that it forces couples to talk about sensitive financial concerns before their wedding day. This can assist to avoid future disputes and suspicions regarding a partner’s intentions for financial benefit.

Two wedding rings on a glass table with rain water


A postnuptial agreement can be drafted if the couple did not prepare a prenup before marriage, but later determine that one is required. A postnup can address concerns that arise as a result of a significant change, for example, one partner inheriting money.

It can also be appropriate if previously hidden financial information regarding a spouse emerges, such as one of them being significantly in debt. Negotiating a postnuptial agreement while spouses are contemplating divorce may reduce conflicts later on.

Hire a Lawyer

Negotiations for a prenup and postnup are expected to be challenging. Therefore, it would be best to settle key issues with the help of an experienced family lawyer in Chico. A well-negotiated agreement that communicates each party’s goals and intentions can avoid numerous disputes. Our family law attorney at the Law Offices of Ron Marquez can assist you in negotiating, drafting, and filing these important contracts.

Our knowledgeable family law team can help you with deciding if a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is right for you, analyzing your financial statement, and negotiating a contract. Contact us to get started.


Disclaimer: This blog is only intended for educational purposes and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for legal advice



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