Many people are familiar with the prenuptial agreement, and often associate them with the headlines that are made when celebrity couples enter into a prenup and it is made public. But there are many people who have never heard of the term postnuptial agreement or postnup. A postnup is like a prenup, except you enter into the agreement after the marriage or a civil union. Like the prenup agreement, the postnup will address the couple’s assets and how they will be divided if they choose to divorce or proceed with a legal separation, it can divide the debts or prevent the other partner from acquiring a certain debt in a 50/50 split divorce proceeding, and it can determine the amount of spousal support one partner would receive after divorce. A postnup can address other divisional issues outside of money, like the division of real property and automobiles, usual items that will be split with equal shares during a divorce. However, a postnuptial agreement typically may not include financial family provisions like child support or child custody.
Approaching an agreement concerning the possible outcome of a marriage ending is not an easy topic. A good way to think about marriage would be considering a scenario of entering into a business arrangement. When you want to think about a long-term partnership, it would make sense to consider a business contract and having a legal agreement in place. But for this post martial agreement to be considered valid, it must meet a few requirements. First, the postnup must be in writing and both parties must be in a mutual agreement. Second, the agreement must be read by both parties and given enough time to review the document and seek counsel if they wish to. Third, the document shouldn’t contain any invalid provisions or contain false and incomplete facts; this is where retaining an experienced family lawyer Arlington, Texas offers would be critical. Lastly, the agreement must be seen as fair to both parties, not grossly unfair to one party.
Deciding to set a safeguard for the life-changing event of divorce can be a great way to protect a family. Many people never intend on filing for divorce, but over 50% of marriages end in divorce, and many end without a prenup or a postnup which leaves many families in a long and drawn-out battle over things that could have been divided prior to marriage or divorce. Whether the agreement is made prior to marriage or after the marriage, either document can help ensure the future of both parties, the family, and the assets.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Brandy Austin Law Firm for their insight into family law and prenuptial agreements.