Some couples, before they get married, create prenuptial agreements that outline their rights and responsibilities to property during marriage and in case of divorce. Many people still consider prenuptial and other marital agreements as only necessary for couples who are significantly wealthy, but this isn’t the case.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can help any couple:

  • Define their property responsibilities.
  • Provide financial security.
  • Efficiently divide property.
  • Communicate about important financial matters.

A marital agreement attorney can help determine if a marital agreement is useful for your marriage and, if so, create an agreement that is legally fair and enforceable.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are forms of marital agreements, and both generally outline the same things. The biggest difference is when the marital agreement is created. A prenuptial agreement is made prior to a couple getting married, and it becomes enforceable once they are married. A postnuptial agreement is made after a couple has been married. It may alter or update the terms of an existing prenuptial agreement, or it can be the couple’s first marital agreement because of significant life changes. To be valid, both spouses must sign the marital agreement, among other requirements.

Martial agreements outline several issues, including how property division and spousal support are handled in a divorce. When a couple gets a divorce without a marital agreement, they have to reach an agreement on the division of property and awarding spousal support. If they can’t, the court makes those decisions for them. An enforceable marital agreement ensures that the final decision is not in the court’s hands and that couples do not have to go through a potentially strenuous negotiation process.

Who Benefits From a Prenuptial Agreement?

Many couples could benefit from a marital agreement. This includes a marriage where:

  • One spouse is not going to work for a portion of the marriage to complete career training, care for the home, or further education, and wants to ensure their financial security in the event of a divorce.
  • Spouses have significant property or other separate assets.
  • Spouses want to decide how assets and debts are split and who is responsible for them during their marriage.
  • One or both spouses own a business or interests in a business.
  • Spouses want to avoid complex or litigious divorce proceedings.
  • One or both spouses have been previously married and want to outline their children’s inheritance rights.
  • One spouse has a significantly higher income or a large amount of separate assets, which they want to keep separate or determine the rights to.

The ability to delineate financial responsibilities can often help spouses create a good foundation for their marriage.

Rights Outlined in a Prenuptial Agreement

Marital agreements outline some of the same issues in a separation agreement, but they do so prior to marriage. There are several other rights that are addressed in a marital agreement. Common rights and responsibilities outlined in a Nebraska marital agreement include:

  • The rights and responsibilities of each spouse to separate and marital property, and their right to buy, sell, use, lease, transfer, and otherwise manage the property
  • How separate and marital property will be distributed and divided in the case of separation, divorce, death, or other event
  • If either spouse is entitled to spousal support, the reasons that support may be modified or waivers of alimony
  • The rights of each spouse to the other’s life insurance policy death benefits
  • Whether a will or trust will be created to support the marital agreement’s provisions
  • The state jurisdiction that governs the agreement

The marital agreement can cover any other relevant issues that the couple wishes.


Q: Are Prenups Legal in Nebraska?

A: Yes, prenuptial agreements, and other types of marital agreements, are legally recognized and enforceable in Nebraska. However, the agreement could be invalidated in court for several reasons. If the court determines that certain provisions are especially unfair to one spouse and only protect the assets of the other spouse, the court may determine that these provisions or the entire agreement are unenforceable. If one spouse was forced or coerced into signing the agreement, or signed the agreement without full relevant knowledge because information was kept from them, the court may invalidate the agreement.

Q: Do I Need a Prenup If I Have Nothing?

A: A prenuptial agreement defines each spouse’s rights and responsibilities to assets and debts. As such, it has the potential to be useful for any couple, regardless of wealth. It also helps spouses discuss and be transparent about financial issues. A prenuptial agreement can also determine how to handle any property or assets that either spouse gains during the marriage. This can also be handled through a postnuptial agreement after a couple is married. If you are unsure whether your relationship could benefit from a pre- or postnuptial agreement, discuss the matter with an experienced attorney.

Q: What Two Things Will Nebraska Not Allow in Prenuptial Agreements?

A: There are several things that are not allowed in prenuptial or other marital agreements in Nebraska. Two important things that you can’t include in martial agreements include:

  1. Decisions regarding children. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement cannot decide a child custody schedule or visitation rights. A marital agreement cannot waive child support or set an amount for support. Decisions for a child are based on the child’s interests and unique needs, and they cannot be made in advance.
  2. Provisions that encourage divorce. If there is an incentive for one or both parties to pursue divorce in the marital agreement, it will not be enforced.

Q: Can Judges Overrule Prenups?

A: Yes, judges can overrule prenuptial agreements. If the agreement is unfair, unreasonable, or unconscionable to one party, the judge may overturn the agreement and refuse to enforce it. A judge may also overturn a marital agreement if:

  • Spouses didn’t enter into the agreement willingly.
  • Spouses did not fully disclose all assets and debts, and there was no waiver of financial disclosure.
  • The marital agreement incentivizes divorce.

In some cases, a judge will only overturn specific provisions in a marital agreement, rather than the entire agreement.

Determine If a Prenuptial Agreement Is Right for You

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may give you the financial support and security that you need. Stange Law Firm provides personalized and caring legal support. Contact our team today to determine if a marital agreement is right for your marriage.