A prenup is like any other contract. It is drafted based on the moment, and it reflects the current desires of all stakeholders. Over time, however, portions of any contract can become irrelevant. Businesses must often update their contracts every so often to stay in keeping with current needs.
In a way, a marriage is like a business. It is two people who’ve agreed to share their lives, and it requires pragmatic, reasonable negotiations. If you have a premarital agreement, you have even more reason to view your marriage as a legal agreement.
The Stipulations Simply Don’t Work
In most situations, people use prenups for financial purposes. Some, however, include marital roles within their contracts. They can, for instance, assign jobs to spouses. One manages the money, the other manages the kids, and so forth.
You can make a lot of assumptions going into a marriage, only to find that reality doesn’t match your vision. If those assumptions translate into contractual obligations, you have a problem. Perhaps the rules of your contract never worked, or maybe they stopped working over time. Either way, if your written agreement is impossible to enact, it’s time to update your prenup.
Changes in Household Assets
The world becomes more unpredictable every day, a fact that is often reflected in family incomes. When you first get married, it may seem like the immediate structure will last forever. One person, for instance, is the designated breadwinner, and the other is the designated stay-at-home parent.
Over time, however, cutbacks and layoffs can change everything. One person loses their job, and the other finds an even more lucrative profession. This flips the entire financial structure of the home. Maybe the stay-at-home parent suddenly inherits a good deal of assets. There are many events that can fundamentally change a family’s finances, demanding a change in the prenuptial contract.
Changes in the Family Structure
Never assume that your nuclear family will always remain the same. Every day, couples who thought they were done having children birth a new baby. Elderly parents and grandparents move into homes, changing everything. Tragically, people lose family members as well.
Major shifts like these will affect your financial plan and your marital roles. These changes will probably mean that your original contract no longer applies and need retooling.
Changing Your Marital Contract
You are always free to draft a new contract on your own, sign it, and submit it to the courts. This, however, is not recommended. You should always include a skilled lawyer in any legal proceeding, especially one as important as this.
You may also need help negotiating the new terms. Either because of disagreements or a simple lack of experience, it may not be possible to come up with new stipulations on your own. For this, we recommend mediation. Both spouses will meet with a legal professional who can help them talk out the terms of the new contract, reaching conclusions that benefit everyone.
Once you create the new contract, you can submit it to the courts, and you will be ready to move forward with your new agreement.
Our firm is here to help with marital agreements, whether it’s your first one or you are updating a previous contract. For a free consultation, call us today at (516) 514-3868 or contact us online.