While you have probably heard of a prenuptial agreement, you may not be aware that you can also enter into a similar agreement after you are married. A postnuptial agreement is a contract between spouses that outlines what will happen if the couple ends up getting divorced. These agreements are essentially the same as a prenuptial agreement, except that a couple enters into a postnuptial agreement after they are married. Postnuptial agreements have a variety of uses, depending on a couple’s circumstances. However, to ensure the agreement comports with Texas Law, anyone interested in creating a postnuptial agreement in Texas should work with an experienced Austin divorce lawyer.
At the Law Office of Jason Wright, we help spouses draft effective and enforceable postnuptial agreements. Attorney Jason Wright has worked with clients from all walks of life, across the economic spectrum, to help them provide certainty in the event of divorce. He takes a practical approach to every matter he handles, avoiding unnecessary drama, which often leads to litigation.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a type of contract two spouses enter into that covers what will happen if the couple gets divorced. While a prenuptial agreement is created before marriage, a postnuptial agreement often involves the same type of terms but is entered into after the couple marries.
In Texas, parties have broad ability to contract. However, postmarital agreements tend to raise some concerns because they often limit one spouse’s right to pursue legal options in the event of a divorce. Thus, these documents are often scrutinized, making it imperative that individuals work with an experienced divorce lawyer when drafting a postnuptial agreement.
When Do You Need a Texas Postnuptial Agreement?
One of the most common questions people have about postnuptial agreements involves when they need to get one. Sometimes, although not always, spouses enter a postnuptial agreement when something has happened that raises the possibility of a future divorce. For example, if one spouse is unfaithful, the other spouse may only agree to remain married if the unfaithful spouse signs a postmarital agreement.
Postnuptial agreements can also be used by couples that plan to get a divorce but want to save money by resolving some of the issues themselves. In this way, the postmarital agreement serves as a template for a separation agreement.
However, postnuptial agreements are not limited to situations in which divorce is on the horizon. Some couples use postnuptial agreements to clarify what will happen in the event of one spouse’s untimely death. Another reason a couple may want to draft a postnup is if one spouse rather unexpectedly stands to receive a significant amount of money. In this case, the couple’s changing financial circumstances may justify discussing what would happen if they ever got divorced.
A postnuptial agreement may also make sense in the following situations:
• One spouse has acted financially irresponsible;
• One spouse is quitting their job to stay home with children; or
• Either spouse has children from a previous marriage.
What Can a Texas Postnup Cover?
The purpose of a Texas postnuptial agreement is to provide some much-needed clarity. However, there are some limits on what can be included in a postnup. Certain issues involving children are beyond the scope of a postnuptial agreement. For example, you cannot include a term awarding one spouse custody of a child. Similarly, you cannot limit the amount of child support that one spouse would be required to pay.
Otherwise, Texas postnups can cover many of the other issues a court would otherwise need to decide during a divorce. These include:
• How the couple will divide their assets if the marriage ends;
• Whether one spouse will pay spousal support to the other spouse if they get divorced;
• How marital debts will be divided upon a divorce; and
• The effect of a spouse’s death on the distribution of their property.
However, you cannot include any term in a postnuptial agreement that violates public policy or is otherwise illegal.
If you or your spouse is considering a postnuptial agreement, reach out to the Law Office of Jason Wright for immediate assistance. Attorney Wright is a knowledgeable Austin divorce lawyer with extensive experience helping his clients draft and review postnuptial agreements. With his help, you can make sure that the agreement you enter into represents your interests and is legally enforceable, providing you with the certainty you are looking for. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Office of Jason Wright at 512-884-1221 today. You can also reach Attorney Wright through the firm’s inline contact form.
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