A lot of people erroneously think of prenuptial agreements as documents that are meant to be completed and forgotten – until a divorce is on the horizon. However, prenups get renegotiated all the time, sometimes years after a marriage has begun.
Melania Trump, for example, famously used her new-found leverage after the 2016 presidential election to lobby for a postnuptial agreement that was more favorable to her goals – and she’s far from alone in embracing this approach. When is it most appropriate to lobby your spouse for a new marital agreement? Every marriage has different dynamics, but here are some signs that it’s time.
One or both of you has had a significant change in your finances
If one or both parties experience a substantial change in their financial circumstances, such as inheriting a significant amount of wealth, starting or selling a business or acquiring substantial assets, they might seek to modify the prenup to reflect these new conditions.
One spouse is about to make a major career change
Renegotiations are common right before a couple decides to have children, especially if one spouse is expected to give up their career (or significantly limit their ambitions) to take care of the children. It may only be fair to revise the prenup to address potential economic consequences resulting from the anticipated changes, providing more security for the dependent spouse.
There have been significant marital problems or infidelities
Sometimes, prenups get renegotiated as a bid by one spouse for a second chance at the marriage. This commonly happens after one spouse’s behavior, such as infidelity, gambling, or even a shopping addiction, has caused tremendous marital strife. The wounded spouse may insist on renegotiating the marital agreement to ease their fears about the future and to make their expectations crystal clear.
The prenuptial agreement itself has a clause that calls for renegotiation
Some prenups include clauses that stipulate a specific period when the agreement can be renegotiated, such as after a certain number of years of marriage or after the birth of their first child. The new agreement can address the way that their circumstances have changed since the marriage began.
If you’re looking into the possibility of using a postnuptial agreement to revise an existing prenup, it’s always wisest to find out more about your legal options. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to begin.