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Renegotiating your prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements have gone from being something that only people with vast amounts of wealth used to something rather commonplace. Since you and your spouse both had things you wanted to protect in case there was a divorce, you worked one out.

Now, time has brought some changes that make you feel like your prenup no longer really meets your needs. It may be time to renegotiate.

How do you renegotiate a prenuptial agreement?

Essentially, if you and your spouse can make a new agreement, your prenup gets replaced by a postnup. Postnuptial agreements, like prenups, are private contracts. They follow the same rules as prenups, in that they have to be reasonable, must be negotiated in good faith and cannot contain any illegal provisions.

When can you renegotiate a prenup?

Every situation is different. For example, former First Lady Melania Trump famously delayed moving into the White House as she renegotiated her prenuptial agreement, likely because she knew that the optics of the situation gave her more leverage. You may want to renegotiate because:

  •     You have children and you want to add clauses that will protect your children’s inheritance if you were to divorce (or die) and your spouse remarries.
  •     You’re about to have a child, and your spouse wants you to stay home to take care of the baby, which will interrupt (or destroy) your career and make you financially dependent.
  •     Your spouse had a business of their own when you married, but you’ve since gone from occasionally “pitching in” to being a key player in the company’s operations and you want your labors to be recognized in the property split (should a divorce happen).
  •     Your spouse had an affair and you want to change the allocation of wealth in your prenup as a condition of taking them back (in case they stray again).

Negotiating a fair postnup isn’t necessarily hard, but it’s definitely something that you should only undertake with some experienced legal guidance. If your old prenup isn’t working, it may be time to explore other options.


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