Contracting for Success: New Ohio Law Allows Married Couples to Enter into Antenuptial Agreements

Nobody gets married expecting to get divorced one day. Rarely do wedding speeches begin with, “I give this ten years, tops.” And newlyweds don’t spend time on their honeymoon writing down who bought which souvenir on their trip, in the event they have to divide their belongings in a few years. 

Because of this general principal, and because of a few other public policy reasons, Ohio law has prohibited married folks from entering into what’s known as a “post-nuptial agreement” that divides the couples’ assets in the event of a divorce. However, with the Governor signing Senate Bill 210 into law, all that has changed. Now, Ohio Revised Code §3103.06(A)(1) states that a husband and wife may…”enter into a postnuptial agreement that alters their legal relations with each other.” 

All this means is that now, if you did not enter into a pre-nuptial agreement with your spouse that outlines the division of your assets in the event you divorce, you are free to enter into that kind of agreement after you say “I do.” 

This may come across as a legislature who is pessimistic about marriage, but figuring out who gets what in the (however unlikely) event that your marriage ends in divorce before you reach the boiling point can be practical in many ways. 

First and foremost, when you are dealing with a divorce, oftentimes the last thing you want to think about is stuff. After all, you are going through one of the most stressful things a person can go through, and it is a perfectly normal reaction to be completely caught off-guard when your divorce attorney asks you who you think should get the lawnmower. 

But going through your stuff is also what can take the longest in a divorce and end up ultimately costing you more in attorney’s fees. The more you and your spouse haggle over who should get the blue saltshaker, the higher your divorce attorney’s bill will climb. Save that effort for what really matters in the long run – division of retirement accounts, tax issues, and most importantly, issues surrounding your children. 

Because what a post-nuptial agreement really is, at the end of the day, is an agreement about things: property and support. It does not establish custody, it does not set a parenting time schedule, it does not touch upon the millions of tiny details that go into crafting a solid separation agreement and parenting plan. But it does lighten your burden, and your divorce attorney’s bill, in the event you do have to legally terminate your marriage. 

Our Franklin County-based law firm is well-versed in post-nuptial agreements, especially in high-asset matters. Our attorneys are familiar with what the Ohio Revised Code requires in these post-nuptial agreements and are ready to make sure that before you sign that dotted line, you are protected. 
If you have questions about what this bill could mean for you, or if you want to talk to one of our experienced family-law attorneys about anything from a dissolution to a divorce, give us a call and set up a free thirty-minute consultation. Our attorneys have experience all across Ohio, from Franklin, Delaware, and even Cuyahoga County. Visit our website today to make sure you have the best team in your corner.