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Mistakes to avoid when creating a postnuptial agreement

Oct 19, 2020 | Premarital and Postmarital Agreements

Every married couple experiences changes throughout their relationship. And these changes affect how spouses communicate, what they expect from each other, and how they feel about their future.

In anticipation of or response to these changes, it can be helpful to re-establish some framework for the marriage and guidance for the future by creating a postnuptial agreement. This agreement empowers spouses to outline financial expectations for the union, and in the event of divorce. However, it may not be effective if you make the following mistakes.

Keeping it too casual

A postnuptial agreement – or marital property agreement – is a legal contract. As such, spouses should put their agreement in writing; having a casual discussion or coming to an understanding about your wishes will typically not suffice and can be a costly mistake. Both parties must also sign the document voluntarily.

Being dishonest

Because a postnuptial is a legal document, parties must be honest. They must fully disclose assets and accurately list liabilities. If a person fails to do this, allegations of fraud can arise, and the document can be subject to contest and cancelation.

Including unenforceable terms

There are a host of terms parties might include in a postnuptial agreement, from who will control property to whether specific assets will remain separate. Spouses may also address spousal support.

However, some terms can make the agreement unenforceable. Such conditions include unfairly waiving spousal support, making determinations for child support and anything illegal.

Failing to have one in the first place

Too many Texas couples fail to recognize the benefits and protections that a postnuptial agreement can provide. Some do not see the point in making decisions on matters that would arise in the event of a divorce when they are married.

However, having a postnuptial agreement can be valuable for many reasons. It can provide stability and security at a time when one or both parties are concerned about the future. It can reset expectations and allowances in the wake of a significant life event. It can shield a spouse from financial liabilities for debt acquired by the other party.

Whatever your goals or hesitations may be regarding a postnuptial agreement may be, it is crucial to avoid these mistakes as you make your decisions.