Postnuptial Agreements in Texas

Popular culture and perhaps even this blog discuss prenuptial agreements more regularly than postnuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements, contracts entered before marriage, are voluntary and dictate the disposition and division of property if the parties divorce or one dies. These agreements become effective only after the marriage.

Spouses enter postnuptial agreements after marrying. These contracts become enforceable and effective immediately upon signing by both spouses. Why do people enter into these agreements?

It becomes enforceable and goes into effect immediately after each spouse signs the document. Why do people enter into these sorts of agreements?

What are the benefits of a post nuptial agreement and how can the parties to one make the agreements stick? The family law attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC would like to take this opportunity to discuss this issue with you all today.

Background information on post-nuptial agreements

Texas, as a community property state, presumes that all property acquired during the marriage is community property in the context of a divorce.

In many, but not all cases, this means that the property will usually be split 50/50 upon divorce unless circumstances necessitate a different division.

By entering into a postnuptial agreement, spouses can segregate certain pieces of property from the community estate, making it the separate property of one spouse or the other. An example of this as it pertains to debt is one spouse can take on the full load of his or her debt that he or she entered the marriage with, shielding the other spouse from this liability.

Again, community property law dictates that property is presumed to be shared by the parties and the same can be said for debt, no matter whose debt it is.

For many married people, their needs change during a marriage

Over the course of a marriage, your financial status may change a significant amount. While fights regarding money don’t always lead to divorce, money issues are a significant cause of divorce in North America.

It doesn’t have to be only suspicious or nefarious behavior that can cause financial trouble and ultimately relationship trouble for spouses. For example, some families have a special needs child or adult who requires care over and above what the person him or herself, social security or other insurance can provide.

If you or your spouse have committed to supporting a person with special needs, drafting a postnuptial agreement that reflects this commitment is advisable.

You can agree to designate income, typically considered community income, as part of the separate estate of the spouse responsible for paying the bills and general expenses of the special needs family member.

This agreement protects your spouse from future liability if you commit more to this person than you can actually afford.

How to best ensure the enforceability of your postnuptial agreement?

Both spouses must write and sign postnuptial agreements. Oral contracts are hard to enforce, and postnuptial agreements are no different. Under Texas law, a party to the postnuptial agreement can challenge its validity and enforceability by proving they did not sign the agreement voluntarily or at all.

For instance, if you prove that your spouse threatened you with bodily harm to sign the postnuptial agreement, you might argue that the agreement is unenforceable.

Another main reason for declaring a postnuptial agreement void is its extreme unfairness. If the agreement, for example, assigns all property to one spouse and all debts to the other, a court likely won’t enforce it.

Also, if a spouse withheld information that would materially change the agreement’s content and character, the document’s enforceability comes into severe question.

How can you ensure your postnuptial agreement is valid and enforceable? The best advice is to fully disclose all financial assets and debts before negotiating a postnuptial agreement.

Judges in any divorce case will review your postnuptial agreement, ensuring both parties disclosed their financial statuses (assets and debts).

If it becomes apparent that you or your spouse did not have a reasonable opportunity to review each other’s finances, the agreement may be unenforceable.

Is it wrong to plan for life as a divorced person if you are still married?

In a word, no, it is not wrong to plan ahead to determine what will happen if you and your spouse do decide to move one from one another. If you have special considerations to make plans for then a post nuptial agreement makes sense.

Planning ahead and taking the worry out of any discussions about your life and your property is a responsible decision to make, especially if you own a substantial amount of property.

Finally, agreeing to how an estate would be divided up should the marriage end is a reasonable thing to do since there is not as much emotion getting embroiled in the situation as there would be during the middle of a divorce.

Post Nuptial Attorneys for Southeast Texas: The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

If you have a question regarding postnuptial agreements or anything else in the field of family law please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. A consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys is always free of charge.


Adobe Stock 62844981[2]If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: 16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce

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  4. Making Postnuptial Agreements Stick in a Texas Divorce
  5. Attacking the Enforceability of a Premarital Agreement in a Texas Divorce
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Post-nuptial Agreement Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding Post-nuptial Agreements, it’s important to speak with a Kingwood, TX Post-nuptial Agreement Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A Post-nuptial Agreement Lawyerin Kingwood TX 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, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce 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.

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