EP 10: How a Prenup and a Postnup Affect Your Divorce

Welcome to the tenth episode of Divorce and Your Money Podcast. Your host, Shawn Leamon, MBA and a Certified Divorce Analyst, discusses prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

These agreements are also called prenups and postnups. They can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of your divorce settlement.  If you have a valid prenup or postnup agreement, the contents of that contract will supersede the divorce laws of your state. A valid agreement serves as a legal business contract.

Prenuptial contacts are signed before you marry your spouse. These documents include information regarding who gets what assets in the event of a divorce. They can govern such matters as to how much alimony is paid or received or how child support is handled. A prenuptial agreement can decide some of these issues in advance in case a marriage ends in divorce.

Postnuptial agreements are signed after the marriage. They are usually signed when a major change occurs after you get married and if people want to be protected in case of a divorce. These agreements are rare and unique, and not every state recognizes them. Be sure to consult with your attorney to determine if the agreement is valid.

If you sign any of these agreements, they can have a major impact on your divorce, especially concerning issues that couples often fight about, and the process is not always smooth.

The validity of these agreements can be challenged in court and could involve legitimate issues, such as the following:

  • If one spouse did not have an attorney.
  • If one spouse did not disclose their appropriate financial information.
  • If there is evidence of coercion.
  • If it is an oral agreement.

Key Learning Points:

  • Prenups or postnups can dramatically affect the outcome of your divorce settlement.
  • A valid prenup agreement will supersede the divorce laws of your state.
  • Prenuptial contacts are signed before marriage with your spouse.
  • Postnuptial agreements are signed after the marriage.
  • They have information about who gets what assets in the event of a divorce.
  • Postnups are uncommon, and some states don’t recognize them.
  • A judge can invalidate an agreement if it was obtained by coercion, is an oral agreement, financial details were not disclosed, or if one spouse did not have an attorney.

Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Podcast. We hope the show helps you through one of the most difficult periods of your life. Shawn Leamon is also author of Divorce and Your Money: The No Nonsense Guide. One-on-one divorce coaching services are available at www.divorceandyourmoney.com.

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.