Before entering marriage, engaged couples often execute prenuptial agreements as a precaution against timely and costly litigation if they ever divorce. Spouses may also enter postnuptial agreements that handle many similar matters after they marry. Married couples should consider entering these contracts under certain circumstances.
A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract that spouses execute after they marry. Like a prenuptial agreement, it governs the division of their assets and other divorce matters except for child custody and child support.
These agreements can clearly set forth what each spouse will get if they divorce. This can help prevent stressful and expensive divorce negotiations and proceedings. If a spouse dies, a postnup may also help prevent inheritance disputes between their surviving spouse and their heirs.
Lots of money
Spouses who entered their marriage with substantial assets or money or those who expect to receive a substantial inheritance should consider these agreements. A postnuptial agreement can help couples leave a marriage with the holdings they brought in.
A postnuptial agreement can set forth the share of assets allocated to your spouse if there is a divorce or if you die. This will help assure that your children will receive a just inheritance and prevent disagreements between them and your surviving spouse. Without a postnuptial agreement, a Texas court will decide these matters under state law which may not reflect your wishes or protect children from a previous relationship or marriage.
Postnuptial agreements can also protect assets or income earned while the spouses were married. This is important for spouses who own their own businesses because, without a postnuptial agreement, an ex-spouse may obtain a share of the business or its earnings.
A prenup can ruin the romance
Many couples choose not to have uncomfortable discussions about prenuptial agreements during their engagement or while they are planning their marriage. Negotiations over a postnuptial agreement may be easier once the couple settles into their marital routine.
If a spouse suddenly receives a sizeable inheritance or gift from a family member, they should consider a postnuptial agreement to assure they can keep those assets. This may help assure that the spouse can keep the bequest or gift.
Each spouse should have their own attorney represent them while negotiating and drafting a postnuptial agreement. Attorneys can help protect their rights and assure that the agreement is fair and reasonable and complies with Texas legal requirements.