What Happens If You Sign a Prenup and Get Divorced (Solved)

Divorce can be difficult and emotional, often involving complex financial and legal issues. This is why many couples opt for a prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, before tying the knot. So, what happens if you sign a prenup and get divorced?

When you get married, the law grants you certain rights you do not possess. A prenup is a legally binding contract that outlines the division of assets and financial responsibilities in the event of a divorce.

While it may not be the most romantic aspect of wedding planning, it can provide both parties security and peace of mind.

But what exactly happens if you sign a premarital agreement and later decide to part ways? This article will delve into the implications of a prenuptial agreement on the division of property, debts, and other essential aspects of the divorce process.

Whether you are considering signing a prenup or are just curious about its effects, understanding the consequences of this legal document can help you navigate the complexities of divorce. 

What Happens If You Sign a Prenup and Get Divorced?

If you sign a prenup and get divorced, the prenup will generally dictate how your assets and debts are divided. This means that the court will typically follow the prenup terms, even if they differ from what the court would have ordered if there was no prenuptial.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, a court may not uphold a prenup if signed under duress or unconscionably unfair to one party.

Additionally, a court may modify a prenup if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the prenup agreements signed.

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However, prenups can be a valuable tool for protecting your assets and finances during a divorce. If you are considering getting a prenup, you must speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options and ensure the prenup is fair and enforceable.

Here are some specific examples of what might happen if you sign a prenup and get divorced:

  • Your prenup could specify that certain assets, such as a family business or inheritance, will remain the separate property of one spouse.
  • Your prenuptial could set out a specific formula for dividing marital assets and debts, such as 50/50 or according to each spouse’s contribution to the marriage.
  • Your prenup could waive alimony or spousal support for one or both spouses.
  • Your prenup could establish child support guidelines in the event of a divorce.

Is a prenup right for you?

Whether or not a prenup is right for you depends on your circumstances. If you have significant assets, a complex financial situation, or children from a previous marriage, a prenup may be a wise decision.

However, speaking with an experienced divorce lawyer is essential to discuss your options and ensure that a prenup is right for you.

How to Handle Divorce with a Prenuptial Agreement?

Handling a divorce when you have a prenuptial agreement can make the process smoother and more predictable. A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the division of assets and other financial matters in case of divorce.

Here’s how to handle divorce with a prenuptial agreement:

  1. Consult an Attorney: The first step is to consult a qualified family law attorney specializing in prenuptial agreements and divorce. They will review the prenup to ensure its validity and explain its legal implications.
  2. Understand the Prenup: Review your prenuptial agreement carefully to understand what it covers clearly. It typically addresses property division, spousal support, and other financial matters.
  3. Open Communication: Discuss the divorce with your spouse in a relaxed and amicable manner. If both parties are on the same page and agree to abide by the prenup, it can make the process much smoother and less contentious.
  4. Gather Financial Documents: Collect all relevant financial documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, investment statements, and any other records that pertain to your assets and liabilities.
  5. Property Division: The prenup should outline how property and assets will be divided. Follow these guidelines as closely as possible. If there are ambiguities or disagreements, consult with your attorney.
  6. Alimony/Spousal Support: If your prenup specifies terms for spousal support or maintenance, follow those terms. If the prenup is silent on this issue, consult your attorney to determine your rights and responsibilities under state laws.
  7. Child Custody and Support: Prenuptial agreements cannot dictate custody or child support arrangements. The court typically decides these issues based on the child’s best interests. Be prepared to work out a custody and support arrangement with your spouse or have a court determine if you can’t agree.
  8. Mediation or Collaboration: Consider mediation or collaborative divorce processes if you and your spouse have difficulty agreeing on the divorce terms. These methods can help resolve disputes more amicably and cost-effectively.
  9. Legal Enforcement: Consult with your attorney if your spouse refuses to abide by the prenup terms. They can take legal action to enforce the agreement.
  10. Finalize the Divorce: Once you’ve agreed, work with your lawyer to finalize the divorce proceedings and any required court filings.
  11. Post-Divorce Financial Planning: After the divorce, reassess your financial situation and create a new financial plan that aligns with your post-divorce circumstances. Update your estate planning, will, and other legal documents as needed.

Remember that divorce can be emotionally challenging, and having a prenuptial agreement doesn’t eliminate the need for legal and emotional support.

Seek the assistance of a professional therapist or counselor to help you navigate the emotional aspects of the divorce.

Do You Always Need An Attorney for a Prenup?

While it is not always necessary to have an attorney draft a prenup, it is highly recommended. Attorneys have the expertise and experience to ensure the agreement meets legal requirements and covers all necessary aspects.

They can also provide guidance and advice on what clauses should be included to protect both parties. Having an attorney involved helps to minimize the risk of the agreement being challenged or deemed invalid in court.

Ultimately, consulting with a divorce attorney is wise to ensure your prenup is legally binding and provides adequate protection for your interests. 

Division of Marital Assets

Divining marital assets is one of the most important aspects of a divorce. In most states, courts use a system of equitable distribution, which means that the assets and debts of the marriage are divided in a fair and just manner, but not necessarily equally.

There are several factors that judges consider when dividing marital assets, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The contributions of each spouse to the wedding, both financial and non-financial
  • The needs of each spouse
  • The marital standard of living
  • The tax consequences of the division
  • Any other relevant factors

Marital assets include all acquired during the marriage, regardless of who earned the money to purchase them. This includes things like:

  • Real estate
  • Bank accounts
  • Investments
  • Retirement accounts
  • Vehicles
  • Personal property

Separate property is property owned by one spouse before the marriage or acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance. Individual property is generally not subject to division in a divorce.

If you and your spouse can agree on how to divide your marital assets, you can put your agreement in writing in a separation agreement. If you cannot agree, the court will divide the assets for you.

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Commonly Asked Questions on How to Handle Divorce with a Prenuptial Agreement (FAQs)

What happens when you divorce after signing a prenup?

If you divorce after signing a prenup, the terms of the prenup will generally govern how your assets and debts are divided unless the prenup is found to be unfair or unconscionable.

Can a prenup leave the spouse with nothing?

A prenup that leaves one spouse with nothing is unlikely to be upheld by a court. Prenups must be fair and equitable; a prenup that leaves one spouse destitute is generally considered unfair. This is because courts recognize that marriage is a partnership and that both spouses should be able to maintain a reasonable standard of living after a divorce.

What voids a prenup?

A prenup can be voided if it was signed under duress, coercion, or fraud or failed to disclose material financial information. Prenups can also be revoked if they are excessive or unfair to one spouse. Suppose the parties failed to make a full financial disclosure to each other before marriage.

What can override a prenup?

Only a court can override a prenup. A court may do this if the prenup was signed under duress or coercion, if there was a failure to disclose material financial information, or if the prenup is unconscionable.

Do marriages with prenups end in divorce more often?

There is no evidence that marriages with prenups end in divorce more often. Some studies have shown that couples who have prenups are less likely to divorce.

Do prenups affect money made after marriage?

Yes, prenups can affect money made after marriage, but it depends on how the prenup is written. A prenup can be used to designate certain types of income as separate property, which means that it would not be divided in the event of a divorce.

How are assets divided with a prenup?

With a prenup, assets are divided according to the terms of the prenup agreement. The prenup can specify which assets are separate property (belonging to one spouse only) and which are marital property (belonging to both spouses). Marital property is typically divided equally in a divorce, but the prenup can override this rule.

What happens if your wife signs a prenup?

If your wife signs a prenup, the terms of the prenup will generally govern how your assets and debts are divided if the marriage ends in divorce. This means that the prenup may override the state’s default divorce laws.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, is a legal contract that a couple signs before marriage. It outlines how the couple’s assets, debts, and other financial matters will be accumulated if they decide to divorce.

Are prenuptial agreements valid?

Prenuptial agreements are generally valid and enforceable as long as they meet specific requirements. It is essential to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that your prenup is legally binding.

What happens to my premarital assets in a divorce?

Prenuptial agreements can save your premarital assets from being subject to division during divorce proceedings. Your premarital assets may be protected and remain solely yours, depending on the terms of your prenup.

Can I modify a prenuptial agreement after marriage?

Yes, a prenuptial agreement can be modified or amended after marriage. However, any modifications should be done in writing, and both parties should agree to the changes.

Will a prenuptial agreement hold up in court?

A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract. However, there are certain circumstances in which a court may deem a prenup invalid or unenforceable. It is essential to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure your prenup will hold up in court.

Why should I sign a prenuptial agreement?

Signing a prenuptial agreement can help smooth divorce and protect your financial assets. It allows you and your partner to clearly understand how your assets and other financial matters will be divided in case of a divorce settlement.

What are the benefits of hiring a lawyer to assist with my prenup?

Hiring an experienced attorney specializing in family law can help ensure that your prenuptial agreement is legally sound and enforceable. They can also provide legal advice and guidance throughout the process.

What legal options do I have if my prenup is not being honored?

If your prenuptial agreement needs to be honored, you should consult with an experienced attorney. They can help you explore your legal options, such as filing a lawsuit or seeking mediation to resolve the issue.

How can I find an experienced attorney to help with my prenup?

It is essential to find an attorney who specializes in family law and has experience in drafting and reviewing prenuptial agreements. You can search online directories, ask for recommendations, or contact your local family court for referrals.


If you sign a prenup and get divorced, what happens? In conclusion, signing a prenuptial agreement can be a wise and prudent decision for couples entering into a marriage. It offers security and clarity, protecting both parties during a divorce. While no one enters a union with the intention of it ending, it’s essential to consider the unforeseen circumstances that life can bring. A well-crafted prenup can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty of divorce proceedings. So, if you’re wondering what happens if you sign a prenup and get divorced, remember that it can provide a fair and equitable framework for both parties to navigate through a difficult time and money loss situation.

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