Many people use prenuptial contracts for financial purposes. They can clearly define their marital and separate property; they can restrict certain finances to just one spouse, they can make a financial plan in case of divorce; and so on.
Some people also use marital agreements to dictate rules within the marriage. They can, for instance, make decisions about which spouse will handle which responsibilities.
As life changes, your initial prenuptial agreement may become irrelevant. Fortunately, you have the option to renegotiate your contract and update it as necessary.
Here are some reasons to revisit and modify your marital contract.
1. The Plan Simply Doesn’t Work
Perhaps you assumed, before the marriage, that one spouse was handier than the other. Therefore, you included a stipulation that this spouse would be solely responsible for maintenance in the home, on the cars, and so forth. In practice, however, you discovered that this spouse simply isn’t as adept as the other.
Alternately, maybe the plan worked fine in the past, but now it doesn’t. The “handyman” in the home may have suffered an injury, and they can’t keep up with these demands anymore. Maybe the other spouse learned new skills and started doing a better job than the designated one.
If your plan, for whatever reason, simply doesn’t function, it’s time for an update.
2. Career and Financial Changes
People make contracts at a specific point in their lives, assuming their current circumstances will remain the same. These days, however, career shifts are common, and it’s harder to predict the longevity of your current financial status.
Perhaps your original contract assumes that one spouse will always be the breadwinner, but the other eventually makes more money. Maybe an injury or illness prevents the higher-earning spouse from continuing to bring in income. Even when one spouse enters a marriage with wealth, unstable financial markets could change these conditions.
3. Changes in the Family
Commonly, couples who initially decide they don’t want children later change their minds. The same can be true for parents who’ve decided that they’ve had all the kids they want but wind up having another.
Families can also change in other ways. Perhaps a couple takes in an invalid relative or there is a sudden, tragic loss.
Any change to your family structure forces changes to your financial plan. It also alters the rules and expectations within the home. Whenever your family changes, even a little, review your marital agreement and make sure its standards and stipulations still apply. If not, you know it’s time for a modification.
Making Changes to Your Prenuptial Agreement
When it’s time to update your marital contract, make sure to meet with your attorney. They can help makes sure your new plan is solid, hard to misinterpret, and difficult to break. If negotiations become difficult, they may be able to help mediate, allowing each spouse to get what they need from the new agreement.
Our firm is here to help with the creation and modification of marital contracts. For help, call us today at (515) 200-7571 or contact us online.