Earlier this week the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan posted a blog that related to premarital agreements that covered what they were and how they can impact a marriage. Today we will shift gears to discuss postnuptial agreements, the lesser known cousin of a prenuptial agreement.
As they pertain to the law contained in the Texas Family Code, postnuptial agreements must be drafted and agreed to while remaining in compliance with any and all applicable State laws on this subject. If you and your spouse come to an agreement on any matter that is outside of the law then you risk a judge declaring at least that section unenforceable and void.
The terminology that is used coupled with the agreements that you and your spouse eventually agree to must be coherent and then must also comply with our Family Code. Therefore, having experienced representatives on your side during a negotiation process can be extremely helpful. Let’s explore postnuptial agreements in greater detail.
Postnuptial Agreements- A breakdown of what they are and what they do
As I noted at the outset of this blog, postnuptial agreements are not as well known as prenuptial agreements. Our culture has made prenuptial agreements a little more well known- whether it is through music, television or movies- the term “prenup” is one that we hear with more and more regularity these days.
A postnuptial agreement is intended to cause you and your spouse to take a long, hard look at whatever issues in your marriage are causing you all difficulties and to figure out a solution to them sooner rather than later.
The solution will ostensibly be agreeable to both you and your spouse now, and will benefit you all by creating a more amicable divorce (theoretically) should the need arise later.
Benefits of a postnuptial agreement
The benefit of a postnuptial agreement is that even prior to divorce you and your spouse may divide up your property, income, assets or debts in the fashion as set forth in your postnuptial agreement.
There is nothing stopping you from doing so- not even the approval by a judge. Of course, you must abide by the terms set out for postnuptial agreements in the Texas Family Code but that is about it.
Another benefit of a postnuptial agreement is that you and your spouse can utilize one to alter the terms of a prenuptial agreement that had been agreed to previously. We all know that your life, your spouse’s lives or some combination thereof can change over the course of a few years.
That a postnuptial agreement can essentially modify a prenuptial agreement may be of some value if you and your spouse find yourselves looking at significantly different marital circumstances that had been in place at the time your marriage began.
In the event that you and your spouse:
- divorce or
- your spouse passes away
a postnuptial agreement being in place can provide peace of mind by allocating resources towards a spouse who otherwise may have lost out on their right some percentage of the deceased spouse’s property through intestate distribution upon death.
Obviously I would recommend that anyone over the age of eighteen have a will. With that said, however, a postnuptial agreement can fill in the gaps in the event that you do not.
Spousal support- How can a postnuptial agreement affect the need to pay
Texas law allows for the payment of spousal support/maintenance both on a temporary basis during a divorce and on a more permanent basis after the divorce occurs.
The Family Code lists the guidelines for spousal support guidelines in terms of how long a marriage has to have lasted for you to request this type of payment from your spouse. A postnuptial agreement can allow you and your spouse to come up with specific provisions regarding spousal maintenance during your marriage and upon your divorce.
Likewise, if you or your spouse agree that upon divorce or death that no support should be requested or paid, then that can be included in the postnuptial agreement as well.
In much the same way, if under Texas community property laws a piece of property would normally be considered to be community property you can override that statute and have the property go either into your or your spouse’s separate estates.
Family run businesses and postnuptial agreements
If you and your spouse own a family business then you all will want to do whatever you can to ensure that it remains profitable, well run and free from drama if you two decide to end your marriage.
Many divorce cases center around what will happen with the family run business. Parties and their attorneys can spend thousands of dollars on attorneys can spend thousands of dollars on expert witnesses to prove the value of a business or at least attempt to prove when a business came to be.
If after a divorce you want to shift roles within the company or have your son take over the day to day operations then you can negotiate for those terms in a postnuptial agreement.
In this way, the postnuptial agreement acts as a business planning device as well as marriage planning instrument. If there is a way to divide the business at the time of the divorce that you don’t believe a judge would be too keen about but you believe it to be fair, a postnuptial agreement is a good way to help further that cause.
Questions about postnuptial agreements? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
To learn more about postnuptial agreements or any other subject in family law please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan.
A free of charge consultation is available with one of our licensed family law attorneys six days a week. Our office represents clients from across southeast Texas and we would be honored to do the same for you and your family. The first step in the process is to pick up the phone and call today.
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Post-nuptial Agreement Lawyer
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding Post-nuptial Agreements, it's important to speak with a Houston, TX Post-nuptial Agreement Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
A Post-nuptial Agreement Lawyer in HoustonTX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Post-Nuptial cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.