A postnuptial agreement Texas is drafted after the marriage to determine various issues like financial rights and privileges. Most people are more familiar with the term “prenuptial agreement” than “postnuptial agreement.” However, the two documents accomplish the same thing:
They outline expectations for how finances will be handled during the marriage as well as in the event of divorce or the death of one of the parties.
The only distinction between a prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement is that the former is drafted prior to marriage, whereas the latter is drafted after marriage.
What Information Does a Postnuptial Agreement Contain?
A Texas Postnuptial agreement, also known as post marital agreement Texas, is used to outline the financial and economic responsibilities, rights, privileges and details that are relevant to a marriage and its parties.
- A typical postnuptial agreement will include the following provisions:
- How property will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation
- Who in the marriage will control and manage property, including the right to sell, transfer and dispose of property, among other things
- Whether or not spousal support (alimony) will be included in a divorce settlement, and how that arrangement will be structured.
- How a family business or other family property will be managed during the marriage and after divorce or death
- Distribution of funds and assets to children of a previous marriage in the event of divorce or death
- The specifics of an estate plan, such as agreements for the creation of a will or trust
- Any other financial decisions that need to be made
What Can’t Be Included in a Post Nuptial Agreement Texas?
While most things, particularly those pertaining to financial agreements, are completely acceptable in a postnuptial agreement, there are a few exceptions. Agreements concerning child custody or child support, for example, are not permissible, as are any agreements or arrangements that are illegal or unconscionable.
Postnuptial agreements, as you can see, are used to settle almost any financial issues — but they need to contain reasonable provisions. For this reason, they are not to be used to completely bar a spouse from collecting alimony or to ensure that only one parent has custody of children in the event of divorce, nor to list any ludicrous marriage requirements (such as that one spouse must vacuum the house every Thursday, or else).
A judge may find it unconscionable, for example, if the terms of a prenuptial agreement completely bar a spouse from receiving alimony if the latter did not work and had given up their career to stay at home with young children.
Requirements for Postnuptial Agreements
It is important to consider how the agreement is formed. If the agreement is not formed in accordance with the following criteria, a judge may later declare it invalid:
- All assets and debts must be fully disclosed by both parties
- Both parties must be of legal age to enter into the agreement
- Both parties must enter the agreement voluntarily – an agreement entered under duress or fraud is not valid
- The contract must be in writing
- Both parties must sign the agreement
It is always best to consult an experienced family attorney when drafting a postnuptial agreement in Texas. Your attorney can assist you in identifying details about your marital situation that you had not previously considered. In addition, your attorney will ensure that you and your spouse follow the terms of your postnuptial agreement.
The Advantages of Entering Into a Texas Postnuptial Agreement?
Working together to form a postnuptial agreement may not sound like the most romantic thing you can do for your marriage or your spouse, but it can actually help to grow a sense of communication and cooperation in your marriage. After all, forming a postnuptial agreement is a big deal and will require that both of you work together.
Aside from the practice of compromising that the formation of a postnuptial agreement will undoubtedly necessitate, other advantages of forming a postnuptial agreement include:
- Clarifying the expectations of the marriage in terms of financial management
- Ensuring that you will receive spousal support in the event of divorce (especially if you intend to give up your own career as a result of the marriage)
- Protecting the inheritance rights of children and grandchildren from a previous marriage
- Protecting yourself from paying excessive spousal support in the event of a divorce
- Preventing the division of a family business or other important family property in the event of divorce or death
- Preventing a party from incurring their spouse’s debt
If the parties decide to divorce, the terms of the divorce will already be spelled out (with the exception of child custody and child support). This will also allow you to move forward with as little stress as possible by expediting the divorce process and to minimize lawyer and court fees.
When Would You Need a Postnuptial Agreement?
If you experience any of the following during your marriage, you should consider a postnuptial agreement:
- When your spouse begins to accumulate debts, such as through compulsive shopping or gambling
- If you are looking for a counseling session
- When a spouse has violated your trust but you are still trying to work things out
- If either of you starts a new business
- When one spouse receives a large inheritance
- When one spouse considers leaving a career to care for children
- When you purchase a luxury home or make any significant purchase
- When you married quickly and did not prepare a prenuptial agreement
A postnuptial agreement can remove financial concerns from the table, allowing you and your spouse to focus on resolving other issues in marriage counseling.
Smart financial planning does not imply that you are abandoning your marriage. If your spouse has concerns about a postnuptial agreement, encourage them to consult with a family attorney so that their best interests are also represented.
Why Do I Need To Hire a Lawyer in Texas for a Postnuptial Agreement?
The Texas postnuptial agreement form is available online and you can fill it out and file it on your own, but this is not advised.
There is too much room for error when you draft your postnuptial agreement without the assistance of a lawyer, and you may not know what to look for or what provisions to include to protect your best interests. In fact, in many cases, it is recommended that you and your spouse each have your own attorneys.
One of the most important aspects of creating a valid and enforceable post nuptial agreement after marriage is ensuring that both parties fully disclose their assets and debts. An attorney can thoroughly examine your financial situation to ensure that this requirement is met.
In the short term, using an online form to complete a postnuptial agreement may save you money. However, in the event of a divorce or other financial turmoil, it could cost you a lot of money to go the easy way.
In the worst case scenario, your entire estate plan could be lost if you make a mistake in your postnuptial agreement. Thus, hiring a skilled family lawyer who will ensure that your best interests are detailed in a valid postnuptial agreement is better.
Premarital and Post Marital Agreements
The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act has been enacted in Texas. Prior to marriage, both prospective spouses must sign a premarital agreement in writing if they want to protect their financial assets. Prior to signing the agreement, both prospective spouses must disclose all of their assets and liabilities, and they must have negotiated and signed the agreement with the intention of marrying.
Failure to fully disclose your assets or debts may result in the agreement being void later due to lack of disclosure. Because your premarital agreement may alter your default property rights under existing law, you can only assess the risks and benefits of the agreement if you have full disclosure of your partner’s financial situation.
An agreement may also be unenforceable if one of the parties did not sign voluntarily or if the agreement is unconscionable. Each party should ideally have his or her own attorney so that everyone understands the agreement. A single attorney representing both parties is unethical.
A premarital agreement allows a person who is about to marry to protect his or her separate property by deciding ahead of time what the character of specific property or income will be at the time of divorce. For example, you and your spouse could agree that your wages and income will be treated as separate property throughout the marriage, even if they would otherwise be considered community property.
Couples may decide during their marriage to draft a post-marital agreement outlining how marital property will be divided in the event of divorce. This is sometimes necessary to protect one spouse’s assets from another spouse’s debts, or to protect a spouse’s assets from the risks associated with the other spouse’s entrepreneurial endeavour.
The agreement must be in writing, and no payment is required — except for attorney fees.
We have concluded the following after reading the article:
- Postnuptial agreements are used to outline the financial and economic responsibilities, rights, privileges, and details that are relevant to a marriage and its parties.
- Texas postnuptial agreement form is available online and you can fill it out and file on your own if you deem it appropriate.
- If your spouse has issues about a postnuptial agreement, advise them to consult with a family attorney so that their best interests are also represented.
- Prior to signing the postnuptial agreement, both prospective spouses must disclose all of their assets and liabilities.
- An agreement may be unenforceable if one of the parties did not sign voluntarily or if the agreement is unconscionable.
After reading this article, you can now make legally informed choices regarding postnuptial agreements in Texas.
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