5. Change or cancel your agreement if needed

It is a good idea to review your agreement as your situation changes to see if you still want it to apply.

Changing an agreement is sometimes also called varying or amending an agreement. Cancelling an agreement is sometimes also called rescinding an agreement.

How to change or cancel your agreement

You can change or cancel your agreement at any time if you and your partner agree. To do this, you have to make a new agreement. This new is sometimes called an “addendum agreement” or “amending agreement”. In this agreement, you usually say what parts of the first agreement you agree to change or cancel.

For example, say you sign a on May 1, 2012. Your new agreement might be called “Amending Agreement to the Marriage Contract Executed on May 1, 2012”. It should say which specific paragraphs are being changed and how they are being changed.

Your new agreement has to follow the same rules as your first agreement to be binding and enforceable. This means your agreement is made in a way that allows the court to order you or your partner to do what the agreement says.

You also need to follow the same formal requirementsthat you followed when you signed your first agreement. This includes making the new agreement in writing and having each partner sign it in front of a witness. For more about these formal requirements, see Step 4.

Reasons to change or cancel your agreement

There are many reasons why you might want to change or cancel your agreement.

Many marriage contracts say how a couple will deal with property and during the relationship and if the relationship ends. So you might want to consider changing your agreement if your financial situation changes. For example if:

  • one partner gets a large inheritance
  • you have a child together
  • one partner’s income increases or decreases a lot
  • one partner falls ill and cannot work
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