Texas postnuptial agreement: What it contains and why it matters

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Divorce

Should the time come that you are not head over heels in love with your spouse anymore and seriously considering ending your marriage, there is nothing quite like the creeping feeling of regret that you didn’t plan for your overall stability when you still had the opportunity.

Unlike a prenuptial agreement signed before marriage, a postnuptial agreement is a legal document signed after the marriage. Critics argue that it encourages divorce by opening a window of possibility for couples to contemplate the status of their marriage. However, it only aims to confront the awkward discussion of financial matters, including all your income, assets and liabilities. This way, it secures your and your spouse’s future in case your marriage breaks down.

Common provisions

To ensure that your postnuptial agreement, or your marital property agreement as referred to in the Texas Family Code, is valid and enforceable, you and your spouse must sign it voluntarily and intentionally with full and fair disclosure of all your financial information.

Texas law splits a couple’s property in half as a community property state. But a postnuptial agreement allows you and your spouse to mutually agree whether a 50-50 is suitable for your situation. Thus, in the event of a divorce, the common provisions in the agreement are as follows:

  • Establishing which of you owns which marital assets (family home, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, retirement plans and funds) and how to divide them
  • Identifying marital debts accrued (credit card bills, mortgages and bank loans) and how to divide the responsibility
  • Determining which spouse will pay spousal maintenance and for how long
  • Negotiating other estate planning concerns

Further, you may include protection plans should either of you pass on before the other.

Common reasons

It is possible you do not see the urgent need to draft a postnuptial agreement. But when the following substantial changes in your circumstances occur, it may be wise to reevaluate your perspective:

  • New business venture
  • Receipt of a significant inheritance
  • Accumulation of debts due to shopping or gambling addiction
  • Career or employment relinquishment to be a stay-at-home parent

Any considerable changes in your family situation down the line can cause costly and time-consuming negotiations that may be traumatizing, most especially to your child.

A pragmatic approach

As unromantic and transactional as the entire process sounds, it still seems like the more practical choice if you do not want a messy divorce, should your relationship come to it. Your legal team can guide you to avoid regret by working out a plan with you.