Pre-Nup vs. Post-Nup

Posted: 17 September, 2019

Differences Between a Pre-Nup and a Post-Nup

There are a lot of considerations to deal with when entering into a marriage. Even with the best of intentions of making it last forever, sometimes marriages just don’t last. A divorce or even a death can cause either of these agreements to be very beneficial when dividing up assets. That’s why it’s important to ensure your assets are protected before a divorce happens. You can do this through a pre-nuptial agreement, or a post-nuptial agreement. These documents have similar names, but very different attributes. You should understand the purpose of each and then analyze your situation to determine which is best for you.


Pre-nuptial agreements are the most common, and the one you hear about most from the media. They are also recognized in all 50 states. As the name suggests, this document is drawn up before a couple is married. This document takes into account the couple’s individual assets and incomes. It then gives guidance on how to divide the assets in case of a divorce. It also takes into account any potential or future increases in one party’s assets or income. This is especially helpful for protecting a spouse’s retirement income.


A post-nuptial agreement is established after a marriage has taken place. There are several reasons for these agreements; the most common is to divide assets in the case of a divorce in a community property state. Post-nups can also be used to protect a business owned by one spouse. Post-nups can be more difficult to create, as they must speak to assets or income acquired jointly by the parties after the marriage; these are known as community property.

While pre-nup and post-nup agreements are typically used to divide assets and income, they can also be used to divide up debt between two spouses. This ensures that one spouse is not left holding the bag for debts they didn’t create if their marriage comes to an end. It’s always best to speak to a competent attorney when deciding whether you need one of these agreements, and how to divide your assets and liabilities.