Can I Still Do a Pre-Nuptial Agreement After Marriage?

Can you get a prenuptial agreement after you are legally married? Technically, no. Once everything is official, there is no longer any way to create a prenup for that marriage. There is, however, a very similar type of contract you might want to consider.

This term for this so-called postnup is “marital agreement” in Hawaii law. These documents are similar in many ways to prenups, but you should know that there are a few key differences.

Most people would probably recommend that you do a prenup if at all possible. However, postnuptial agreements serve many of the same purposes, such as defining terms for divorce, delineating personal debt or adding protection for specific personal holdings. The chief difference is that you would finalize your prenuptial agreement before marriage, whereas you could draft marital agreement at any time during your union.

Another difference is that, according to FindLaw, you and your spouse could both use the same attorney for a postnuptial agreement. For those familiar with the way that prenups work, this is a major departure.

One of the things to consider is that judges may decide to disregard some of the terms of your postnuptial agreements. They may do this for several reasons, for example:

  •       If the clauses violate law or are otherwise unenforceable
  •       If the situation surrounding the drafting of the agreement and its signing seem questionable
  •       If the terms themselves seem inequitable

While you and your spouse may have agreed verbally about some terms of your marriage, and while this type of contract does often carry weight in Hawaii courts, it is best to consider a judge’s most likely disposition when it comes to drafting postnuptial contracts.  Please only take this as basic information. It is not legal advice.