Like prenuptial agreements, a postnuptial agreement is a contract some couples enter into to stipulate how separate and community property will be dealt with in the event of a divorce or the death of one or both of the parties. A postnuptial contract in Texas can also address spousal support and alimony, among other financial concerns.
If you’re searching for a post nuptial lawyer near me and you live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, a postnuptial agreement lawyer at the Sisemore Law Firm in Fort Worth would be happy to discuss your concerns and review the postnuptial agreement options available to you.
One of the main reasons people get postnuptials (also known as post-marital agreements) is to minimize the financial risks and potential loss of property and/or assets that may result due to actions taken by the other party. In addition, there are many circumstances that cause people to feel insecure in their marriages, both financially and emotionally, and a postnuptial agreement is one way to help bring peace of mind.
Spouses often seek the guidance of a postnuptial agreement lawyer when the other party has done something that breaches their trust. This may occur in instances where substance abuse becomes an ongoing problem, one of the party’s has an extramarital affair or a gambling addiction threatens the couple’s financial security.
Some couples will also get a postnuptial agreement to protect a party from being responsible for their spouse’s debts or clarify who will benefit from and/or be responsible for debts pertaining to business concerns.
For example, if one party is making business decisions that the other party fears will put the couple’s community estate at risk, a postnuptial contract could allow for the partition and exchange of that business to designate it as separate property. Legally designating the business as separate property would mean the one party would be solely responsible for any debts related to that business, thereby minimizing financial risk for the other party.
On the flip side, if one spouse is primarily responsible for founding and running a family business, and they want to keep any profits and income from the business to themselves, they could use a postnup to partition and exchange the business from community property to separate property.
A postnuptial agreement may also be used to limit the amount of spousal support and/or alimony a spouse would be required to pay in the event of divorce. Conversely, a postnup may be used to ensure a spouse receives a certain financial settlement, spousal support, alimony and/or reimbursement of legal fees should the marriage end in divorce.
If you want to ensure your children (and grandchildren) from a previous marriage or relationship receive an inheritance upon your death, a postnup lawyer can explain the legal options available to you via a postnuptial agreement. You can also use a postnup to clarify who the beneficiaries of any life insurance policies would be in the event of your death.
It’s important to note that the state of Texas does NOT allow married couples to address issues pertaining to child support or child custody in a premarital or postnuptial agreement. Child custody and child support in Texas would need to be addressed in conjunction with a divorce case or modification and ensure the best interests of the child are prioritized.
A postnuptial agreement is considered a legal contract in Texas, and it would be enforceable and legally binding as long as the contract was drafted properly and meets certain conditions required by the state. That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced postnuptial agreement lawyer to help you draft and file your postnup in accordance with Texas law.
In order for a postnuptial agreement to be binding and enforceable, the state of Texas requires that the agreement must:
In Texas, the courts will also consider the question of consideration when it comes to conscionability, meaning, would a reasonable person deem the agreement to be fair? For example, a court may find a postnuptial agreement to be unconscionable if it prevents a party who is incapacitated or unable to make financial decisions from receiving spousal support because it lacks consideration.
And if one party withheld information about the value of property or certain assets, the court would have the discretion to remedy that situation, regardless of what the postnuptial agreement states. In addition, Texas courts also maintain the discretion to order temporary support in order to preserve the safety and welfare of children, as well as the livelihood of the parties while a case is pending.
While you can find DIY postnuptial agreement forms online, we strongly encourage you to hire a postnuptial agreement lawyer to help ensure your postnup is drafted properly and meets the requirements to deem it enforceable in Texas. It’s also recommended that both spouses retain their own separate attorneys to represent them when pursuing a postmarital agreement. Retaining separate counsel helps ensure each party’s needs and desires are met.
That’s not to say postnuptial agreements can’t be written so they are more one-sided. We often see parties agree to a postnup that favors one side over the other when trust has been breached, and the spouse who has breached trust desperately wants to save his or her marriage.
While asking your spouse to get a prenuptial agreement may be difficult, the topic often comes up out of necessity. If you’re in a situation where trust has been compromised or money or assets are changing hands without your consent, a postnuptial agreement may be the best option for you.
It’s important to take a practical approach and think about self-preservation when you find yourself in a situation where someone is willing to break their vow of marriage or put your community estate at risk by doing things that are financially irresponsible. This is especially true if you have children or don’t have a viable way to support yourself.
On the other hand, if you are the party at fault, getting a postnuptial agreement may be a good first step toward rebuilding trust and saving your marriage.
If you live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, an experienced postnuptial agreement attorney at the Sisemore Law Firm can listen to your concerns and explain the options available to you via a postnuptial contract. Our family law attorneys have been helping clients successfully draft and execute postnuptial agreements for over 15 years and understand the many creative ways spouses can use postnups to mitigate financial risk and protect their varied interests.