Can a Prenuptial Agreement be Modified?
Prenuptial agreements are essentially contracts which couples enter into prior to the marriage. This contract determines what happens to the spouses and their income/assets in the event of divorce, separation or death. Very specifically, such agreements help in preserving the nature of both spouses’ property if the marriage terminates.
Modification of a Prenuptial Agreement
The prenuptial agreement between you and your partner can in fact be legally modified or altered sometime in the future (when agreed by both parties). Those terms of the agreement which are not altered remain as is, until and unless both spouses demand cancellation of the entire prenuptial agreement in written.
Generally speaking, when a prenuptial agreement needs to be modified, both the parties review each and every provision in the existing agreement and take a decision regarding which agreements need to be modified.
The validity of a prenuptial agreement is dependent on complete disclosure by both spouses with respect to the income, assets, liabilities and debts. In case there is a change in any aspect of this information since the time the prenuptial agreement was signed, it needs to be shared openly. It would be incorrect to assume that the other party is aware about the change.
There are some states in which the prenuptial agreement is altered without involving the party. For instance, it is possible for prenuptial agreements to become void a year and half after the involved parties become parents (until and unless there is a renewal of the agreement in writing at a later stage).
Revision or Termination?
Both parties need to decide whether they wish to modify or end their prenuptial agreement. When a major portion of the existing agreement needs to be modified, then it might be more sensible to end it completely.
It is important to know that in case the prenuptial agreement is completely revoked, state marital property laws will become applicable to property division if and when the spouses decide to terminate the marriage.
Hiring an Attorney
Even though it is possible to revoke or modify a prenuptial agreement after marriage, the parties need to get consultation with an experienced family lawyer. A fiduciary obligation is imposed on the spouses after marriage. This means that the court will be very strict in scrutinizing the changes made to your prenuptial agreement. So if you wish to modify or revise your prenuptial agreement anytime after marriage, you might benefit by taking the help of an experienced family law attorney.
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