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A postnuptial agreement cannot establish child custody orders

Creating a post-nuptial agreement with the hope of establishing child custody will not work. Family courts have the exclusive jurisdiction to oversee matters regarding child custody. The best interests of your child are the top concern for family courts. Ensuring that their best interests are attended to is what matters most in a child custody case. Therefore, including any language in your postnuptial agreement regarding child custody is a mistake. 

However, if you find yourself in a situation where you need child custody orders contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys have the experience you need. A post-nuptial agreement is a terrific way for you to plan regarding matters related to your finances. For issues related to children, it is best to reach out to an attorney. The family courts of Texas won’t enforce any agreement provisions related to your children.

Consider that times change and circumstances do, too. The post-nuptial agreement created on behalf of your children may not take into consideration all those changes that have built up over time. When and if a divorce comes, this is when child custody orders are created. A court may consider your wishes as contained in the postnuptial agreement. However, the document itself will not replace formal court orders regarding the children.

When should you avoid a postnuptial agreement?

Postnuptial agreements are great at removing the negative emotions associated with property division. All those negative feelings that you have toward your spouse come out during divorce negotiations. We just saw that child custody issues are off limits and a postnuptial agreement. Therefore, why not handle as much of the divorce case within your postnuptial agreement as possible? This is another reason why postnuptial agreements tend to help families by and large.

There are reasons why you may hesitate when considering a postnuptial agreement. To begin with, an experienced family law attorney can help you gauge whether a postnuptial agreement is something in your best interests. Remember that a postnuptial agreement is optional. Do not create a situation where you begin negotiating on a postnuptial agreement before backing out. This can harm the marriage and create an emotional rift between you and your spouse.

Be careful, for example, when your spouse comes to you with a fully formed postnuptial agreement. We have discussed in detail how important negotiation is in a document like this. Collaborating with your spouse on this document is the whole purpose. When your spouse has a fully formed postnuptial agreement ready for your signature then it is time to proceed with caution. Signing something without reading it is never a good plan. Even if you trust your spouse, it is not advisable to sign a postnuptial agreement that you did not negotiate on. 

Hire an attorney before you negotiate your post-nuptial agreement

Signing a postnuptial agreement before hiring an attorney is another risk worth considering. Specifically, there is so much about the law that you may be unaware of as it pertains to postnuptial agreements. When you then consider that postnuptial agreements need to make sense for your particular circumstances the risks of signing an agreement increase.

An experienced family law attorney understands how Texas law and your circumstances intersect. We at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan take seriously the responsibility of walking beside clients who are involved in post-nuptial negotiations. As you consider your options and the possibilities associated with a postnuptial agreement, reaching out to an attorney makes sense. 

One lesson that an attorney can teach is that sometimes well-meaning people make mistakes. Not having an attorney by your side to help creates a set of issues regarding how the document is drafted. Never assume malice when ignorance is the better explanation. Well-meaning people who make mistakes drafting contract language are harmful in a legal sense. 

Instead, choose to work with an attorney who not only is experienced in the law but also at educating clients. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan pride themselves on having the heart of a teacher. This means that we do not make decisions for you or assume knowledge you may not possess. Rather, we take the time to teach you the law regarding your case. You are empowered to make your own decisions.

Post-nuptial agreements as problem-solving mechanisms

Accounting for the property and assets owned by you and your spouse is important. Additionally, it is critical to not lose sight of the role that debt plays in a marriage. Many spouses learn upon divorce that debt is a subject worth planning for. This means that the more planning you can do regarding property and debt the better off you will be. Do not assume that because a debt is not in your name it cannot become your responsibility in the divorce. Rather, act with certainty and develop a strategy for handling these issues with your spouse.

A phrase that is sometimes used in the world of family law is suing your spouse for divorce. Going through a divorce in and of itself is bad enough. However, the idea that you are suing your spouse for divorce makes a bad situation even worse. With that in mind, a post-nuptial agreement is exactly the type of thing to remove much of the animosity and bad feelings from a divorce. 

Nobody hopes to go through a divorce. However, if a divorce is necessary then making the process as productive and equitable as possible is most beneficial. This is where knowledge of the law and an understanding of your circumstances matter a great deal. Attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are uniquely suited to walk with you during this time.

Avoiding divorce altogether

Avoiding a divorce is the best outcome. Anyone who has taken the time to negotiate a post-nuptial agreement would agree that not having to use the agreement would be for the best. With that said, it is easier said than done to work out the problems in your marriage. Having a premarital property agreement or post-marital property agreement can help. The problems in your marriage are difficult to assess. However, how many of us put off tough conversations?

The negotiation of a post-marital property agreement forces you and your spouse to come together. Rather than pushing off a difficult conversation the two of you are forced to negotiate on complex subjects. Think about all the problems in your marriage. How many of them could be solved with a straightforward conversation? This is where negotiations for a post-marital property agreement come in handy. Focusing on these topics is a kind of therapy.

All of this begins with having a simple conversation with your spouse. Is he or she willing to talk with you about these problems? Find this out first. If you find that he or she is willing to talk with you about these issues, then that is a good first step. However, what can you do if your spouse is not willing to talk with you at this time? Are you out of luck? At this point, attending counseling or therapy is in everyone’s best interests.

Counseling and therapy

Many people assume that counseling Involves a therapist playing referee or tiebreaker in the middle of an argument. However, counseling involves a person trying to help you and your spouse learn better communication skills. These communication skills are not always something you can learn on your own. Rather, sometimes it is better to learn from a professional. A counselor or therapist is skilled at helping you develop the communication skills you need to save your marriage.

There are a couple of ways to address an issue like this. First, contact your health insurance provider to learn about different marriage and family therapists. Having your visits covered by your insurance surely helps to make the process more palatable. We are fortunate in our area to have several experienced and helpful therapists available to walk you through the different issues in your case.

On the other hand, more informal resources like a priest, pastor, or trusted friend can also serve as a therapist or counselor. It all depends upon your specific problems and your mindset going into the process. Having questions about how to proceed and your options is completely normal. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan excel at guiding families just like yours during turbulent times. We offer free-of-charge consultations, as well.

Approaching negotiations with your spouse

Negotiating a postnuptial agreement is not dissimilar from doing so in a family law case. Consider that you and your spouse are on good terms presently. This is a major advantage as far as negotiations are concerned. One of the difficult parts of a divorce is negotiating alongside a person whom you are not on good terms with. Negotiating with the person that you see eye to eye with is a tremendous advantage. This is particularly true for those who are involved in a new marriage.

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we find that being direct with your spouse about your intentions or negotiation is the best way to proceed. Rather than trying to be evasive, it is a better idea to share your concerns and thoughts with your spouse. This way he or she knows what to expect when you initiate the negotiation process.

Being patient with your spouse during these negotiations is also important. You may have given more thought to this subject than your spouse has. The idea of a postnuptial agreement could be something foreign to their experience. Think about your opinions on the subject. How are they different now than they were before? These are the types of questions that you need to ask yourself. Your spouse may simply need more time to address these subjects.

What to focus on when negotiating with your spouse?

The focus of your negotiations depends upon your circumstances. What matters most to you and your family is unique to you all. Finding out more about your family’s history is one of the best parts of a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. Telling the lawyer about your home life, finances, and property gives him a better idea of where to focus on your negotiations. 

Your children matter in this discussion. Even if you cannot include orders regarding child custody, a postnuptial agreement needs to reflect your family life. For instance, if you have a child with disabilities then retaining property for him or her may be a worthwhile goal of yours. In that case, limiting the availability of property to divide a divorce may be of focus to yours.

You may also want to shield your spouse from liability in a small business that you own. What otherwise might be community property debt can be partitioned away from your spouse. This happens especially in situations where your current spouse has only been married to you for a short time. It would not be equitable to hold her accountable for paying any portion of the community debt associated with the business. There are ways to shield her while also making the income of the business available to her in a property division scenario.

Positive discussions need to positive habits

Negotiating on a postnuptial property agreement oftentimes leads to good discussions about other important subject matter. For instance, consider a situation involving your family finances. Talking about your home life means an investigation of your spending habits and the current state of your finances. Being honest about this subject matter may lead you toward developing a household budget. Budgets are not something that many people are in favor of initially, but they can be incredibly helpful in maintaining the well-being of your home.

Rather than constraining your spending, a good budget permits you to spend money where you most need to. Your total income and monthly expenditures are listed in the budget. This way you could know exactly where each of your dollars is being spent without concerning yourself with whether you can afford to make a particular purchase. When you think ahead and are prepared to make positive changes for your family anything is possible.

With the budget, you have the newfound ability to act with confidence in your daily life. All of this is possible after initiating discussions with your spouse. You can be confident that decisions are being made in your best interests, as well. Collaborative discussions on important subjects like this are what make a marriage beneficial to both parties. Do not ignore problems as they arise in your family life. Rather, proceed with an eye toward detailed and thoughtful consideration of these issues.

Final thoughts on postnuptial property agreements

We have written a considerable amount about post-nuptial property agreements over the past several days. There are many considerations you think about as you begin to plan for the next stages of your case. Whether you want to negotiate on this subject or not is completely up to you. However, considering your options and working with your spouse our skills that can stand to benefit both of you for years to come.

Post-nuptial property agreements are not something that comes easily. You and your spouse need to be intentional about the creation of these agreements. There is no doubt that many people who work through post-nuptial property agreements see an immediate benefit in their marriage. Additionally, these negotiations provide insight and peace of mind into potential problems.

Negotiating through these subjects may appear difficult. However, in the long run, in our marriage, we’ll need to tackle difficult subjects. There is no avoiding them, only putting them off. With that in mind, the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan appreciate the opportunity to discuss this topic with you today. We work with clients on a range of topics related to family law. Interested in finding out more about our office? Contact us today. 

Considering a postnuptial agreement? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law, specifically postnuptial agreements. Before signing a document or negotiating on a subject you do not know well, contact our office. We look forward to the opportunity of serving you during an important part of your life.

Our attorneys are well-suited to represent you both at the negotiating table and in court. We invite you to visit our office or peruse our website for more information. We hope that you have found this content to be informative and interesting. The objective of our attorneys in providing information on this blog is to educate our community. We know that the resources we provide are potentially very beneficial to you and your family. In an age where knowing who to trust can be difficult, we hope that this is a resource you turn to time and time again.

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