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Could a postnuptial agreement help save your struggling marriage?

As we begin our 8th month under the siege of the coronavirus I think it is safe to say that some of you reading this blog post maybe in marriages that are struggling at the moment. This does not mean that your marriage will continue to struggle for years and years or even months and months, but the temporary nature of this pandemic may have resulted in struggles for your marriage period those struggles could be relational, financial, health or related to other matters. The simple fact is that it would be natural for your marriage to be undergoing some problems right now given the climate that we are in with the virus. 

For instance, has your family undergone some sort a financial disruption in recent months? Towards the beginning of the pandemic Southeast Texas saw not only major concerns with health but also with our economy. Perhaps no region in our country is more dependent upon oil and gas this. Think about all of the jobs that are directly tied to the oil fields, jobs that service those in oil fields and the oil and gas companies who explore, produce, develop technology and a host of other jobs associated with this sector. Overall, as new technology allowed us to drill or in obtain more oil and gas the decreased demand put us in a situation where we had nowhere to store all the oil and gas that was being pumped. The result was a crash in the price for a barrel of oil and as a result many jobs were lost. 

It wasn't only oil and gas jobs that saw a decrease in number at the beginning of the pandemic. What we also saw were jobs and service industries and jobs were face to face contact with the public more essentially forbidden by government for a long stretch of time. Either those jobs may have never come back or you or your spouse may have had jobs moved or changed as a result of the pandemic. The loss or diminution of income for you or your spouse has a direct relationship on the structure and stability of your marriage as well as on your overall happiness. Try and limiting stress during a pandemic when you are not financially secure and you are asking yourself to achieve a tough goal. 

This does not even get into how the health consequences of the virus may have impacted your marriage. As we saw it cases increase in the Houston area during the summer months you or your spouse made unfortunately caught the virus and become ill. While it is statistically rare for a person to have gotten very ill from the coronavirus it is possible that you may have been one of these exceptions who did get ill and may have even had to have been hospitalized. We hope that you have recovered fully and are back on the road to full health. 

However, the concerns that you may have regarding your ongoing health as well as your ability to receive medical care and then pay for that medical care may have also contributed to preexisting weaknesses in your marriage period on top of that, if you and your spouse have not been able to communicate these problems with one another we have an entirely new set of problems that your marriage may be facing as a result of the coronavirus. Generally speaking, I have picked up on an increase in the number of divorce filings as a result of the virus, the pandemic status of our nation as well as the government mandated shutdowns of the economy. 

Overall, I think it is a situation where most people are on edge as a result of the pandemic and the fairly strict public health measures that have been implemented to respond to it. People debate the efficacy of masks with regularity in our area and across the nation and world, but I don't think there's any doubt that seeing a person wear a mask is unsettling for most of us. These subtle and momentary bits of interaction with measures intended to prevent transmission of the virus I believe can ingrained themselves into our psyche and add to the overall unease that people experience as a result of the pandemic

So, we have an environment where you and your spouse are constantly inundated with negative information, have concerns over your health, possibly have concerns about finances and are just generally in negative moods. Couple that with the fact that we are now on our 8th month of the pandemic and we have a potential recipe for disaster in your marriage. 

What can be done to turn the time and improve the quality of your marriage? 

I'm going to stop at this point and tell you that there are many ways for you to improve your marriage that do not involve a post nuptial agreement. In fact, I will be foolish to tell you that the most effective means for you to improve your marriage would be to obtain a postnuptial agreement. Yes, we are still going to write about that topic today in our blog and we're still going to advocate for you to consider whether or not a post nuptial agreement is in your family's best interest. However, I would suggest communication with your spouse about the concerns and then taking concrete steps to improve fault lines in your marriage as the most effective way to improve the quality of your relationship. 

This means speaking directly to your spouse about your problems using honest and open lines of communication. If you and your spouse have not engaged in conversation like this for a long time, or possibly ever, then you need to be wise and prudent about the language that you use. If this doesn't sound like your strong suit, then you will probably be best suited in utilizing the services of a marriage or family therapist to help guide you through this process. The conversations do not need to be on a high level academically, but they do need to be honest and do need to dig down into the routine for problems. 

If you have any hesitancy or concerns over the virus or a certain area of your marriage and that needs to be the focus of your discussion. From someone who has helped people sort through their marriages and get through divorces I can tell you that intentionally getting into these difficult subjects and then trying to develop a specific plan for improving aspects of a marriage that may be struggling is the best route that you can take. Do not simply identify problems in your marriage but instead develop plans with your spouse for both of you to problem solve your way through those issue spots. 

I think it is normal for us to feel like physical and emotional disconnect from people in our lives right now. Given the social distancing, mask wearing and just general concern over person to person contact we can feel like we are separated from one another now more than ever. We need only watch TV for 10 minutes at a time to see advertisements imploring us to feel togetherness and that we are battling the virus as a team. However, it is difficult to feel this way and when we are told that together this is exactly what the virus needs to proliferate and get worse. While it may be OK to be separated from relatives, friends and other people we cannot afford to be separated from our spouses during this time. 

Post nuptial agreements as a means to improve your struggling marriage 

Now that we have discussed the topic of how to improve your marriage on a communication level, we can now get into how a post nuptial agreement may be able to improve or save your floundering marriage. Essentially, my argument to you is that you are able to communicate your way through rough spots in your marriage and that a post nuptial agreement is a natural byproduct of that communication. We will spend the remaining portion of today's blog post on that topic.

A post nuptial agreement is preparation for a divorce before you actually begin a divorce proceeding. Post nuptial agreements primarily deal in financial matters and take nothing in regard to your children into consideration. How community property will be divided, spousal support considerations, determining what is and what is not separate property belonging to either you or your spouse in subjects like this are all dealt with within a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. 

If you have any concerns over what would happen to you financially in the event of a divorce, or even if your spouse were to pass away, then this post nuptial agreement may be the security blanket that you are looking four. Essentially, drafting a post nuptial agreement allows you and your spouse to be able to sort through the issues of your divorce prior to actually getting involved in a divorce case. While you may be asking yourself why you would want to relive a divorce twice what I'm telling you is that a postnuptial agreement allows you to shift the property division portion of your divorce to a time when you and your spouse are not actively involved in the case. This offers several advantages. 

The most significant of those advantages is that you are not forced to negotiate property division of your marital estate with the person that you are not on the best of terms with. Consider that when you are involved in a divorce you are stressed to the Max, likely very upset with your spouse and worried about what will happen with your future and your children's features. Take note at this point that it sounds a lot like what many of us have been going through with this coronavirus. By answering a lot of questions, you may be having in regard to property an asset division in a divorce, you can get a clearer understanding of what your family's financial picture looks like now and into the future. 

For many of us, this has been a primary concern of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of us have taken our foot off the pedal or off the road when it comes to our finances and have shifted that area of our lives to autopilot or cruise control. If you believe this describes you and your spouse, then negotiating through a post nuptial agreement may allow you all a window into how to get a better handle on your finances. Doing so during your marriage rather than during an ongoing divorce may allow you to identify potential problems that are lurking in avoid having to get a divorce at all. 

What I tell people about a post nuptial agreement is that signing a post nuptial agreement does not guarantee your immediate divorce. Likewise, drafting a will does not mean that you are signing up to pass away the following day. Like a will, a postnuptial agreement can be a responsible thing for an adult to do who is involved in a marriage. Answering these questions about finances and property division now can help you to identify problems in your marriage and solve them rather than wonder how they will be dealt with in a divorce. Do not presume that your marriage is headed for divorce until you take control of your marriage. A post nuptial agreement is a effective tool at identifying problems, solving them and allowing for greater growth in your relationship. 

Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

if you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog posts please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone and via video. Our attorneys can be found in the family courts of Southeast Texas with great regularity advocating on behalf of our clients. we take great pride in doing so and look forward to the opportunity to serve you and your family In the future. 

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