Does Minnesota allow couples to sign postnuptial agreements?

Most people in Minnesota, and across the nation for that matter, are turned off by the idea of prenuptial agreements because they foreshadow divorce which is not something people typically think about right before they're about to get married. It's because of this negative connotation that prenuptial agreements are avoided even though they could prove incredibly useful for some couples.

But in accordance with Minnesota law, a couple can't sign a prenuptial agreement, also referred to as an antenuptial contract in §519.11 of the Minnesota Statutes, after they are married. These legal documents must be signed prior to saying "I do." So what options does this give our Minneapolis readers? Does Minnesota allow couples to sign postnuptial agreements?

The answer is yes! Explained in Subdivision 1a of the same section of the Minnesota Statutes are guidelines for postnuptial agreements, also referred to as postnuptial contracts. These documents are just like antenuptials except that they are signed after the couple has legally married. Like antenuptials, postnuptials can only dictate the division of property in the event of a divorce. These contracts cannot predetermine child support obligations or establish rights to child custody and parenting time.

Aside from being signed after marriage, postnuptials also differ in another way: Minnesota law specifically states that a postnuptial will only be valid and enforceable if, at the time of execution, each party is represented by a family law attorney.

While getting legal counsel may be required by law in some family law situations, it's generally considered a good idea overall to obtain a lawyer when dealing with challenging legal issues. Mistakes can be costly, as you can imagine, but a lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes.

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