Friday, April 21, 2017

Creating a Valid Postnuptial Agreement in Texas

Originally published by Family and Criminal Law Blog.

How might a postnuptial agreement help to protect my assets?

In the midst of romance, many couples do not draft a prenuptial agreement before their wedding.  Without a prenup in place in Texas, all property that you and your spouse acquire will be considered community property that is generally divided equally between the two of you in the event of a divorce.  Even if you decided to forego a prenuptial agreement, you may be able to separate some or all of your property from that of your spouse with a valid postnuptial agreement.

What Is A Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is much like a prenuptial agreement, but it is executed after a couple is already married.  A postnup is a written agreement in which the parties declare that they have voluntarily decided to divide their assets and property in the event of divorce or death.  Postnuptial agreements are authorized under the Texas Family Code, Section 4.101 et seq.  By creating such an agreement, the spouses can partition or exchange community property between themselves.  A postnuptial agreement will often also define what property a party brought into the marriage and what property they intend to keep as separate property.

Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement

There are numerous potential benefits to a postnuptial agreement.  Just like a prenup, drafting this agreement is an excellent way to broach the often difficult topic of finances.  A postnup may be critical if you significantly out-earn your spouse, your spouse has many debts, or you brought extensive assets into the marriage.  It can also help to protect any children from prior marriages and provide security for you if the marriage is troubled.  With the assistance of an experienced Texas family law attorney, you and your spouse can craft a postnup that protects both of you in case of divorce and does not lead to marital strife.

Requirements of a Postnup

To be valid under Texas law, a postnuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties with express acknowledgment of its terms.  A party can attack the enforceability of the postnup if it was not signed or was signed involuntarily.  It could also be rendered unenforceable if the parties did not provide a full and accurate disclosure of their assets and financial obligations.  Entering into a postnuptial agreement is an important step and spouses considering creating or signing a postnup should consult with a family law attorney as soon as possible.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

from Texas Bar Today
via Abogado Aly Website

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