A Closer Look at The Value of a Postnuptial Agreement
As attorneys who practice family law here in Texas, we talk a lot about some couples’ decision to use a prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) in order to ensure that they are protected in the event of a dissolution of the marriage, but what about a postnuptial agreement? A postnuptial agreement does the same thing that a prenup does, but it can be signed after marriage, which can not only be helpful for couples who failed to do a prenup before marriage, but for those whose circumstances have changed; for example, if they acquired assets after marriage. Like prenups, postnuptial agreements are not by any means reserved for the “rich and famous.”
Your Financial Situation Has Changed Since Marriage
A sudden change in one’s financial situation is one such reason that some choose to go with a postnuptial agreement with the help of a family law attorney. This might be a business idea that came to fruition or some other change in one’s career.
You Need to Protect Separate or Inherited Property
Couples who work in real estate in particular appear to be entering into more and more postnuptial agreements in order to protect and separate property. This is especially helpful in community property states like Texas, where any property – even if separately-owned prior to marriage – becomes marital (or community) property if marital funds are used in its upkeep or maintenance; for example, if those funds are used to make repairs or upgrades in order to rent out the property, and profits made from those rentals are deposited into a marital account. This would create what’s known as a contribution claim by the community against the separate property estate. In this instance, a postnuptial agreement is essential in order to protect the asset by placing it into an asset protection trust or entity.
Postnups have also been used in order to ensure that certain family members receive certain assets; for example, in instances where there has been a previous marriage/family prior to the current marriage and an individual want to ensure that those family members receive certain assets.
Protecting Retirement Funds
With an increase in grey divorces – where more and more couples are divorcing in retirement age – concerns over retirement accounts have become more and more important, especially since many of these couples did not enter the marriage with a prenup; possibly due to generational differences at the time. In these circumstances, protecting retirement funds via a postnup should be discussed with an attorney in an effort to protect what you have worked for during your career.
Separation Versus Divorce
A number of couples who want to try out separation but not yet commit to divorce also feel more comfortable unraveling what is marital versus separate property – before the potential stress of divorce comes into play – via a postnup.
Contact Our Texas Family Law Attorneys to Find Out More
The dissolution of a marriage can have a tremendous impact on an individual’s finances and plans without something concrete such as a postnuptial agreement in place. Contact our Brownsville family attorneys at Colvin, Saenz, Rodriguez & Kennamer, L.L.P. today to discuss what your needs are and how we can meet them.