Can I renegotiate my prenup, which now feels inequitable?

wedding rings on a prenuptial agreement form

In this day and age, many people put off marriage until they have established themselves in their careers and built up a measure of financial stability. This means more people bring with them assets they wish to protect should the marriage not work out.

Prenuptial agreements — written contracts executed by marrying couples laying out precisely what each spouse would be entitled to in the event of a divorce — solve this problem and give a couple a sense of certainty.

However, as time goes by, your prenup may no longer accurately reflect the reality of your circumstances, or it may strike you as unfair in ways that you couldn’t pick up on at that time.

If this happens, it’s worth a call to a family lawyer to discuss whether you should renegotiate it, creating, in effect, a postnuptial agreement.

One instance in which you might want to renegotiate is when your spouse has been unfaithful or engaged in other behavior that has undermined your marriage. You might, as a condition of staying in the marriage, demand a postnup with a provision entitling you to a larger distribution of the marital estate should such conduct repeat itself.

Or perhaps your spouse brought a business into the marriage and protected it in the prenup. But now you’ve spent years playing a key role, developing the business into a much more profitable enterprise than it was before. If your prenup now feels inequitable, renegotiating a postnup may preserve for you a share that reflects your contributions.

Additionally, if you came into the marriage thriving in a lucrative career, you may not have demanded very much in the prenup because you didn’t feel you needed it. But you ended up sacrificing your career to stay home, raise the children, and support your spouse in their career. Again, if the prenup doesn’t reflect changed circumstances, you would want to renegotiate.

If you’re concerned about a prenuptial agreement that no longer seems fair or relevant to your situation, this would be a good time to meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss the best path forward.

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