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Should you have a postnuptial agreement?

Jan 27, 2021 | Premarital and Postmarital Agreements

In recent years, the topic of prenuptial agreements has become increasingly common. The stigma of these contracts has subsided considerably, and people are learning that prenuptial agreements are not something that only the most affluent couple needs.

That said, if you are already married, getting a prenuptial agreement is no longer an option. But if you want to protect yourself and your future, you can still create a marital contract with a postnuptial agreement.

Benefits of a postnuptial agreement

The main difference between a postnuptial agreement and a prenuptial agreement is right there in the names: a postnuptial agreement is one you create after you get married; you sign a prenuptial agreement before you get married.

A postnuptial agreement has the same benefits as a prenuptial agreement. Among these are:

  • Identifying property, such as individual incomes, as separate
  • Determining guidelines for distributing community property
  • Transferring property to shield it from creditors
  • Protecting spouses from debts, such as business loans

These contracts can set rules and expectations for how to address divorce-related matters, including property division. Doing so when you are still together, versus during the heat of a divorce can make it easier to reach amicable and practical solutions.

Events that could trigger postnuptial agreement discussions

Postnuptial agreement conversations do not typically arise out of thin air. Often, they come on the heels of certain events, including:

  • Infidelity
  • Starting a new business
  • Experiencing a financial windfall
  • Receiving inheritances
  • Post-separation reconciliation
  • Shifts in marital roles

These events can signify a dramatic change in a couple’s circumstances that can be addressed in a postnuptial agreement. Understand, however, that to be effective, these agreements must be valid and enforceable. Per Texas laws, this means they must be in writing and signed voluntarily by both parties, among other requirements.

If the idea of a postnuptial agreement appeals to you, you can talk to an attorney about what you need to do to create a valid contract that reflects your unique situation.