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Can couples file postnuptial agreements in Texas?

Most married couples are familiar with prenuptial agreements – a legal document someone signs before marriage. However, more couples are postponing the negotiations until after the wedding day.

Married couples are turning towards postnuptial agreements to help divide assets, evaluate their finances and resolve any money-related issue. But what exactly are postnups? And can a postnup hold up in a Texas courtroom?

Basics of a postnup

A postnuptial agreement is a legal document that is signed by the couple after marriage. It’s similar to a prenuptial agreement because it lays out the details for dividing the couple’s marital property in case of separation or divorce. The core difference is when the document is written – either before or after marriage.

A postnuptial agreement allows couples to analyze their assets, debt, spending habits and effects of financial stress on their personal lives. Couples may also address concerns about spousal or child support in case of divorce.

In Texas, a postnuptial or marital property agreement is acceptable in court as long as it meets the proper requirements. Each party should obtain a lawyer and a neutral third party, preferably another lawyer, to look over the draft before finalizing.

Reasons for a postnup

Preparing a postnup can be cathartic for couples, but it doesn’t resolve any deep-rooted problems, such as financial security or a spouse’s ability to leave. Couples should have proper expectations before drafting a postnup.

Common reasons for writing a postnup include:

  1. Determining which spouse owns which assets
  2. Negotiating probate issues or other estate planning concerns
  3. Protecting one spouse from inherited debt
  4. Dividing assets during divorce
  5. Assigning roles to specific spouses in a family business
  6. Establishing protections in case of a spouse’s death

Postnuptial agreements are not strictly about dividing assets in a divorce. The document offers guidance in different situations and lays out the financial status of a particular union. It also spares couples the stress of a messy divorce or separation.

Should I get a postnup?

Postnuptial agreements will not work for every couple, especially if you are near a breaking point in your marriage. The best option is to have an honest conversation with a spouse about postnuptial agreements and any financial concerns they have.

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