Major Change in Ohio Law
For over 130 years, Ohio law prohibited post-nuptial agreements. Even amendments to and terminations of prenuptial agreements during marriage were not valid. This all changes as of March 23, 2023, when Ohio law will now recognize the validity of postnuptial agreements.
Prior to this change, only prenuptial agreements, an agreement entered into prior to marriage, could alter the legal relations between spouses (if the agreement were otherwise valid). Now, legal relations between spouses can be altered after the marriage.
This is a complex matter and cannot be a “kitchen table” agreement between the spouses. But spouses can review their “old” prenuptial agreement to see if an old agreement fits present circumstances. If not, the parties, with separate legal counsel for each party, can discuss what changes might be made.
The benefits of this new law are many, and may include enabling spouses to:
- Freely contract and agree as to various financial aspects of their marriage
- Address issues with an existing premarital agreement, such as error or ambiguities
- Update an old agreement to ensure validity
- Create certainty between the spouses as to their legal rights and obligations
To be valid, the postnuptial agreement must:
- Be in writing and should be very specific as to the changes being made
- Be entered into freely and without fraud, duress, coercion or overreaching by either spouse
- Be made with each spouse’s full disclosure and full knowledge of the other spouse’s property (with all assets, liabilities and financial circumstances clearly identified)
- Not promote divorce or profiteering from divorce