Postnuptial Agreements (“postnups”) aren’t as well known as Prenuptial Agreements. But they can be helpful in the right situation!
What is a Texas Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a formal document that is used by a married couple to outline financial responsibilities between them. It can confirm who owns which assets and specify how assets will be split in case of divorce. It is drafted and signed after the wedding.
A prenuptial agreement is one which is entered into before the wedding.
What are some of the reasons to Consider a Postnup?
- The parties did not have time to complete a desired prenuptial agreement prior to the wedding.
- To provide for your children from a prior marriage or relationship.
- One spouse has, or is about to start a business and needs to keep it separate for purposes of ownership, operation, or liability.
- One spouse has received, or may receive a large inheritance.
- A spouse wants to keep their investments separate.
- A divorce is, or may be coming. A postnup can help the parties hammer out their desired property split and simplify later divorce proceedings.
Are the Terms All About Property & Finances?
Mostly. But parties can include details about their responsibilities (such as who will be responsible for seeing that household bills get paid or taxes prepared), and other details to help them manage their relationship.
Are Postnups Always Legally Valid?
Some things can invalidate a postnup, such as forcing someone to sign under duress, not giving the person a chance to get the document viewed by a lawyer, or translated when necessary, and the like.
Something that is “legally unconscionable” (so one-sided that it offends public policy or common sense of justice) can be invalidated by a court.
In order to make sure that an agreement is valid, it should be drafted by a Texas family law attorney who is experienced with this area of law.
Will the Postnup do Everything I Want it to Do?
Well, that depends. If you are looking for asset protection, this may be one tool for that, but needs to be part of the big picture. For instance, if there is a business already in existence, or debts or liabilities that have already happened, the Postnup may not have the effect that you want. The Postnuptial agreement is an agreement between the two spouses, and does not affect the rights of other parties who are already involved. (For instance, if both spouses owe a debt, and there is a default, the creditor still has the right to pursue both spouses for payment. The fact that the two spouses made an agreement between themselves does not change the fact that they had a prior agreement with the creditor.)
Many Things to Consider
The postnuptial agreement can work in harmony with your estate plan and financial and business goals.
How We can Help
Our firm is experienced in family law, business law, and estate planning. We can work with you to help you understand what you need to accomplish your personal goals and your business goals.