A:

Courts have ruled that a prenuptial agreement for qualified plan (including 401(k)) assets is invalid. The logic is that only a spouse can give up the rights to spousal benefits. When someone signs a prenuptial agreement, that person is not considered a spouse at the time of signing. Where couples agree that the spouse will not make any claim to the assets, it is often recommended that :


  • A postnuptial agreement be signed immediately after marriage

The spouse sign a beneficiary designation form giving up rights to the assets immediately after marriage.

The document be notarized or witnessed by a plan representative.

To learn more, read Marriage, Divorce And The Dotted Line and Create A Pain-Free Postnuptial Agreement.

RELATED FAQS
  1. Is my husband's ex-spouse entitled to receive my spouse's retirement benefits?

    The rules vary among retirement benefits. In some cases, because you are the current spouse, you will be treated as the beneficiary ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Create a Pain-Free Postnuptial Agreement

    This marital contract can underline your love for each other - not undermine it.
  2. Personal Finance

    5 Things to Consider Before Later-in-Life Marriage

    Marrying later in life has become the norm, but do you know what to consider before saying "I do"? Here are 5 (financial) things to consider before later-in-life marriage.
  3. Personal Finance

    Why More Couples Are Signing Postnups

    Postnuptial agreements let married couples set the terms for a divorce ahead of time. But not all states allow them.
  4. Managing Wealth

    5 Signs You Need A Postnup

    They're not the most fun thing to contemplate, but these contracts can actually help a marriage.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Making Social Security Work for Client Couples

    What are the best ways to advise client couples when it comes to filing for social security? Here are some strategies.
  6. Personal Finance

    6 Ways Marriage Can Improve Your Finances

    Understanding your partner's situation is an essential step before combining your finances - but the perks can be plentiful.
  7. Retirement

    Retirement Strategies and Your Marriage

    These strategies will help you and your spouse plan for and time your retirement for the greatest financial and personal advantage.
  8. Investing

    How Your Spouse Affects Retirement Planning

    Make your spouse's income count when it comes to retirement planning.
  9. Personal Finance

    Gay Couples: Here Are Your New Rights

    The expansion of same-sex marriage means gay and lesbian partners can now enjoy basic spousal rights, regardless of where they live.
  10. Personal Finance

    Second Marriage Financial Matters to Consider

    Whether you are remarrying after a divorce or the death of a spouse, it is important to enter your new marriage with smart financial planning.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Prenuptial Agreement

    Prenuptial Agreement is a type of contract created by two people ...
  2. Postnuptial Agreement

    A postnuptial agreement is created by spouses after entering ...
  3. Spousal Beneficiary Rollover

    Spousal beneficiary rollover refers to the transfer of a deceased ...
  4. Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trust

    A qualified terminable interest property is an irrevocable trust ...
  5. Community Income

    Income earned by taxpayers who live in community property states. ...
  6. IRS Publication 971: Innocent Spouse Relief

    A document published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that ...
Trading Center