Attorneys nationwide, including here in Texas, are reportedly experiencing an increased number of clients consulting with them about postnuptial agreements. Many couples recognize the importance of prenuptial agreements, but as circumstances change during their marriages, issues may arise that may need to be addressed in legal agreements. Also, some couples start their married lives with little assets and see no need for prenups — a vision that may change as assets are accumulated, businesses started, investments made and more.
The difference between the two legal agreements is that a prenup is signed prior to the marriage date while a postnup is signed after that date. If a prenuptial agreement is in place and changes are needed after a marriage, a postnuptial agreement will then need to be drafted. When a couple decides to sign a postnuptial agreement, their individual assets — including property, money, stocks and more must be detailed. This must include assets acquired both before and after the date of marriage. In many cases, the need for a postnup arises from an inheritance received by one spouse or a business that was started after the wedding date.
However, some spouses use a postnuptial agreement to address marital problems. It may be used to spell out consequences if, for instance, one party commits adultery, uses drugs or becomes addicted to gambling. Another scenario that may benefit from such an agreement is to protect assets meant for children from a previous marriage. Both spouses can use this agreement to specify how they want their assets divided upon death or in the event of a divorce. Whatever the reason for a postnuptial agreement, both parties must sign the document in the presence of their respective legal representatives.
For Texas residents who have identified the need for postnuptial agreements, regardless of whether this is to replace prenuptial agreements, the most appropriate step would be to arrange a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can guide a client through the legal proceedings of drafting such a document. He or she can also provide valuable input based on years of experience,and ensure that the resulting document will hold up in court.
Source: CBS Los Angeles, “Trouble In Paradise? Here’s Why More Married Couples Are Turning To Postnups“, May 8, 2016