Once upon a time, mentioning a pre-marital agreement was a sure way to create marital discord before the wedding even took place. Today, however, pre-marital agreements are relatively common, due in large part to the number of second (and subsequent) marriages in the U.S. that involve children from a previous marriage. If you entered into a pre-marital agreement with your spouse and circumstances have changed since entering into the agreement you may be wondering “ Can we change the terms of a pre-marital agreement? ”
A pre-marital agreement, or PMA, is a legal agreement executed in contemplating of marriage by the parties to the marriage, and may contain a wide variety of terms relating to various issues that may affect the parties in the event of a divorce or the death of one spouse. In recent years, the negative stigma surrounding PMAs agreements has all but disappeared. In fact, pre-marital agreements are relatively common these days for couples intending to marry when there are significant assets involved and/or there are children to protect from a previous relationship, though those are not the only issues that can be addressed in a pre-marital agreement. Sometimes, however, a couple wishes to modify the terms of a PMA after the marriage. This may occur for any number of reasons, including, but not limited to:
- The birth of a new child
- The need to protect assets no longer exists
- Pre-existing children have reached the age of majority
- The marital roles have changed
- A death in the family necessitates a change
- The passage of time puts the marriage on more solid footing
Fortunately, a pre-marital can be changed, modified, or even revoked after the marriage by agreement of the parties in South Carolina. A PMA is treated, in many ways, as a contract between the parties by the law. Just as a contract can be modified, so can a PMA as long as both parties knowingly and voluntarily agree to the changes. When there is a challenge to a PMA, either the original terms or a modified term, the court will typically scrutinize the conditions surrounding the execution of the agreement to ensure that both parties will fully aware of the terms and the consequences of agreeing to the terms. For that reason, as well as others, it is always wise to have your South Carolina family law attorney draft your original pre-marital agreement as well as facilitate any changes to an existing PMA. In addition, although it is not legally required, it is a good idea to have the agreement signed in the presence of your attorney as well.
If you have additional questions or concerns about a pre-marital agreement, contact the experienced South Carolina family law attorneys at Kuhn & Kuhn Law Firm by calling 843-577-3700 to schedule your appointment.