Most people are familiar with the concept of the prenuptial agreement. These documents outline legal expectations for a marriage, including issues like adultery, division of assets in case of a divorce and even expectations about the number of children the couple will have. If you are already married and considering divorce because of issues in your marriage, you might consider a postnuptial agreement. Like prenuptial agreements, these documents help couples outline the expectations of each party for the duration of the marital union. The postnuptial document is executed during, not before the marriage.
Reasons couples might seek a postnuptial agreement
Couples seek out a postnuptial agreement for a variety of reasons, including:
- If one spouse recently inherited a large amount of money
- If one spouse had unexpected success in business without any practical support from the other spouse
- If one (or both) parties engaged in extramarital affairs
- Substances abuse issues
- Gambling problems
If you want to save your marriage but protect yourself legally and financially from the poor choices of your spouse, you should speak with an experienced Texas attorney about a postnuptial agreement.
Postnuptial agreements can protect your financial future
A postnuptial agreement can include a clause outlining penalties in the case of future affairs or cheating. The spouse who has the affair may waive his or her financial interest in the marital home or accept a far lower portion of the divided marital assets, for example.
Postnuptial agreements can also be useful in cases where gambling or substance abuse has become a serious issue. Savings or other assets can be placed in a trust, requiring both parties to sign off as trustees before anything can be withdrawn. Alternatively, the postnuptial agreement can create financial penalties for someone falling back into addictive behavior. That way, if one spouse begins engaging in damaging behaviors, the postnuptial agreement can protect the rest of the family.
Work with an attorney who understands family law in Texas
Postnuptial agreements, like prenuptial agreements, need to be carefully drafted to ensure that they hold up in court. The best way to ensure that your postnuptial agreement is legally binding is to work with an attorney who understands divorce and family law in Texas.