Some married couples may be wondering if they can amend a prenuptial agreement. In California, this is not possible. However, that doesn’t mean that a prenuptial agreement has to stay in effect forever. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, a new agreement can be drawn up that supersedes the old one.
Once a couple has married, a prenuptial agreement is final. However, a post-nuptial agreement that replaces the original agreement can still be entered into by the couple. It can’t be handled like a simple formality, however. Just like with prenups, a post-nuptial agreement requires both parties to make full financial disclosures to each other before the agreement is signed.
In fact, post-nuptial agreements are held to a higher standard than prenuptial agreements. That’s because once a couple is already married, the two already owe a fiduciary duty to one another. Therefore, the post-nuptial agreement must be equitable in order to avoid breaking the fiduciary duty. Since this duty doesn’t exist before marriage, a prenup isn’t held to the same standard.
Marital circumstances change, and the financial needs and desires of a couple change with them. For many couples, the concerns about finances that were prevalent before marriage are no longer an issue. Any couple that seeks to change their prenuptial agreement would have to execute a new, post-nuptial agreement to take its place. However, these agreements are complicated, and a seemingly minor error can render them meaningless. An attorney with experience in family law may be able to help such a couple reach a new arrangement. That attorney might also be able to draft a post-nuptial agreement that meets the couple’s new needs while addressing the concerns raised in the prenup.