Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
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Texas Family Code, Section 4.001 et seq., provides for a married to couple to execute a valid marital property agreement, also known as a postnuptial agreement similar to a premarital agreement. The agreement delineates the rights and obligations of each party in the event of a divorce. As long as the agreement is legal, is in compliance with public policy and is not unconscionable, it will be approved and enforced by the court. A postnuptial agreement lawyer can help you and your spouse create a marital agreement you both agree on to reduce a great deal of uncertainty should either party ever decide to file for a divorce.
Why Would A Married Couple Want A Postnuptial Agreement?
A post-marital/postnuptial agreement provides financial certainty to both parties when executed properly. It can reduce anxiety and mistrust among couples when they both know that the only reason their spouse is married to them is for their love and companionship.
Some couples jumped the gun and eloped or married quickly before preparing a prenuptial agreement. They might regret not organizing a prenup, and decide to create a plan should the relationship end in divorce.
Some married couple already have a prenuptial agreement that specifies who gets what in a divorce. However, in time either party might want to change some of the terms of the existing prenuptial agreement and seek a postnuptial agreement to void the existing document.
After being married for a few years, either party might regret including support for their spouse in the event of a divorce, and wish to include a settlement for them defined in a post-marital agreement.
A party in the marriage may choose to provide a lump sum settlement for their spouse instead of monthly payments in the event of a divorce.
A married couple might decide that they want to make separate property community property, or vice versa. Or they might want to designate income generated by a separate property community property.
There are many reasons that a couple might want to redefine the division of their assets should divorce occur.
Common Issues Resolved by Postnuptial Agreements
• Division of debts incurred prior to and during the course of the marriage.
• Declaring which property is separate property to insure that it will remain separate property.
• Updating a premarital agreement and giving more benefits to one party than were given in the prenuptial.
• Making a distribution of community property between the parties.
• Providing for the inheritance of children from an earlier marriage or relationship.
If these issues are resolved in a postnuptial agreement, it will save stress and confusion and costly litigation if a divorce occurs in the future. It is similar to car insurance or a homeowner’s policy. The insured hopes never to have to make a claim, but is happy the insurance is in place just in case.
Requirements of a Postnuptial Agreement in Texas
In order to be valid, postnuptial agreements in Texas must comply with the following requirements:
• Postnuptial agreements must be in writing.
• They must be signed by both parties at a time when they both have the legal capacity to enter into such an agreement. It is best to have the document notarized.
• Both parties must prove they entered into the agreement voluntarily.
• Both parties fully disclosed all assets and future assets they expected to accumulate.
• The parties fully knew what they were signing and the rights they were waiving.
It is highly recommended that each party have their own attorney. Particularly, a lower earning spouse with fewer assets should have a postnuptial attorney review the agreement and suggest changes if it seems unreasonable.
A postnuptial agreement in Texas cannot decide issues of child custody, visitation and support.
Enforcement of a Postnuptial Agreement
Spouses have a higher duty to each other than do those who are just contemplating marriage, so a postnuptial agreement is given more scrutiny than is a prenuptial agreement. It will not be enforced if it was not voluntarily entered into or if it has any provisions that are against public policy or are illegal. A Texas Court can decide not to honor a postnuptial agreement for a number of reasons.
Why Would a Court Not Enforce a Postnuptial Agreement?
• If one party coerced or deceived the other one in order to obtain the signature, then a judge will not enforce the order.
• There was not full disclosure of assets and income.
• There has been a substantial and unexpected change in circumstances since the execution of the postnuptial agreement and there was no opportunity to update it.
Although there are many online companies that provide fill-in-the-blank type postnuptial agreements, it is more likely that that type of document will be deemed unenforceable than an agreement personally prepared specifically to protect an individual’s property and rights. An experienced lawyer for postnuptial agreements can help protect your assets, property, and income. Call now to schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Frank E. Mann P.C.

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Why Choose Frank E.

  • 30+ Years Experience
  • Member:State Bar of Texas
  • Member:The College of State Bar of TX
  • Houston Bar Association- Family Law Section

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