Most people do not get married intending it to end in divorce. However, somewhere around 50% of married couples end up getting divorced in Texas, and second and third marriages have increasingly higher rates of divorce. If you are married without a prenuptial agreement, it might not be too late to plan for a potential divorce with a postnuptial agreement.
The Queenan Law Firm’s Dallas postnuptial agreement lawyer represents spouses seeking a postnuptial agreement. Especially if you have business interests, high assets, or other assets to protect from a possible divorce, call our law offices to discuss a postnuptial agreement today. Our phone number is (817) 476-1797.
What Does a Postnuptial Agreement Do in a Dallas Marriage?
A postnuptial agreement is an agreement between two spouses that details the different ways that certain divorce issues will be carried out if the couple gets divorced. The agreement might also have a wider scope, dealing with how some things are processed during the marriage – particularly property rights. These agreements work just like prenuptial agreements, they just happen to take place after the wedding rather than before the wedding.
In many cases, these agreements can dictate how the couple will handle any of these issues:
- Property division, including business interests and investments
- Child custody
- Child support
- Alimony/spousal maintenance
Postnuptial agreements can also potentially include clauses that would trigger in cases of infidelity or other events that would provide grounds for a fault divorce.
In many cases, these are replacements for prenuptial agreements, but they can also be used to modify existing prenuptial agreements, assuming both spouses are willing to agree to modify the existing agreement.
A postnuptial agreement is essentially a contract between the parties. Once both parties sign the document, it will have legal power behind it. Some terms in a postnuptial agreement might affect how things happen right away, such as agreements that certain property will not be community property. Other terms might not be triggered until the time of divorce.
Should I Get a Postnuptial Agreement in Dallas?
A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be tough for some couples because it can seem like a weighty, contractual hurdle to a marriage. However, having a prenup or a postnup can be very important for some people and some couples.
Some people might be hesitant to marry someone who insists on a prenuptial agreement, saying instead that they should prove the relationship comes first by getting married first. In situations like this, a postnuptial agreement might be the perfect compromise that allows the parties to get married first so that the marriage itself is not used as a bargaining chip in the formation of the agreement. However, the fact that they are already married might make some spouses less likely to agree to a postnup if the terms of the agreement will give them a worse outcome than what the law would normally see without the postnup.
Postnuptial agreements are nonetheless important for many people with high net worth, business holdings, or extensive investments. As the couple’s marriage goes on, many of these items will remain individual property, but increased value in these assets will become community property that gets divided at the time of divorce. To protect a growing business, growing investments, or personal wealth that you invested in before the marriage, you might need a postnup.
These agreements are also very helpful for couples with complex situations, such as healthcare needs, shared children with special needs, blended families, infidelity, and other issues.
Hiring a Lawyer for a Postnuptial Agreement in Dallas
Once you are married, many legal issues become issues that the spouses tackle together as a team. If the couple later gets divorced, the case will put them on opposing teams. It is usually best for each side to have their own lawyer who can protect their rights and interests without having to split their attention between both spouses. The formation of a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement is similar: each spouse should have their own lawyer.
Legal ethics rules might prevent your attorney from being able to represent both you and your spouse, and it is often better to have your own advocate even if those rules were not in the way. Because of this, you should each get your own lawyer if you plan on forming a postnuptial agreement.
In many cases, you will want to have an attorney represent you to prevent any issues with the agreement. A postnuptial agreement is a type of contract, and so there are legal standards that have to be met to have an effective agreement. While having a lawyer is not necessarily a legal requirement, making sure that both parties come to the table willingly and have their own counsel will actually help make sure the agreement is legitimate. It is also better to have a lawyer write the terms and make sure that the language has the legal effect you want it to.
If there are issues with the postnuptial agreement, you can always amend an agreement by forming a new agreement. If you get to the divorce and have legal issues or want to challenge the postnuptial agreement, you can also have a lawyer help you with those issues.
Call Our Dallas Postnuptial Agreement Attorney for a Confidential Legal Consultation
Relationships and financial situations change as a marriage goes on. In many cases, prenuptial agreements might not have been made, or they might no longer reflect the goals of the spouses involved in the agreement. Postnuptial agreements give couples the right to form new agreements while the marriage is already underway, and they also allow parties to modify existing prenups or postnups. Call The Queenan Law Firm’s Dallas postnuptial agreement lawyers today at (817) 476-1797 to learn more about whether a postnuptial agreement is right for you and what you can do to get one in your case.