What Happens if You Don’t Sign a Prenup
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

What Happens if You Don’t Sign a Prenup?

If you’re getting married, you’re most likely getting tons of advice from friends, family, religious officials, and possibly financial advisors on everything from what appetizers to serve to if a new wife needs to change her last name.

It doesn’t matter if you take people’s advice or not is totally up to you. Nonetheless, it may be very important to understand each side of the situation prior to you making a decision particularly when it involves the legal changes concerning your marriage. For instance, if you’re thinking about a prenuptial agreement, you’ll need to understand not only why a prenup can be beneficial to you, but also what happens when you don’t have one.

Prenups alter the default regulations that are put in place by the state legislature and civil law. If you aren’t happy with the default regulations, you can modify it at the minimum, some of them. Nevertheless, if you choose not to sign a prenup and eventually get divorced, you might not be able to safeguard specific assets. It’s probable that the marital assets and properties will merely be split between you and your ex fifty-fifty, in compliance with Arizona community property laws. This can even include family heirlooms and/or businesses dependent on what happens throughout the marriage.

In addition, with prenups, there may be a discussion of spousal maintenance and what happens should either party pass away prematurely. It’s also very possible that you might be held financially responsible for an ex’s tax obligations and other debts. Lacking a prenup, you likely won’t have nearly as much management over how your assets are split.

At the same time, if there aren’t any individual assets or considerable marital assets, a prenup might not be as beneficial. Additionally, if a divorce never occurs, the fact that there was no prenup is really of no concern.

Frequently overlooked in prenup discussions, is establishing what happens if one party passes away prematurely. There might be a need to determine inheritances, specifically if either or both parties have children from previous relationships.

Deciding if you should sign a prenup or not depends tremendously on your individual circumstances and objectives. After you determine those things, you might want to seek out legal advice on the steps you should take about safeguarding them. Speaking with an attorney about your situation can assist you in understanding the legal significance of your options, can prove to be truly beneficial as it allows you to make a knowledgeable decision, with confidence. Couples typically meet with an attorney-mediator together to discuss ideas and determine if a prenup is needed. Meeting with a mediator together can decrease the stress of discussing a prenup.


  1. Kane, Libby. “Here’s What Happens to Your Stuff When You Get Divorced without a Prenup.Business Insider, Business Insider, 12 Aug. 2014, www.businessinsider.com/dividing-assets-without-prenup-2014-8.

Ogborne Law, PLC: Arizona Legal Professionals

Is there anything more beautiful than two people uniting to create a unique family? Marriage is an exciting adventure! Together, you can build a good life based on trust and hopes. A prenuptial agreement can be part of your wedding plans, and we want to help you structure one that reflects your love and respect for each other.

Never think you aren’t rich enough to consider a marital agreement. If you have each other, you’re already a wealthy family. A consultation can be free and informative. Contact Ogborne Law to discuss your marital agreement options.

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