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No prenuptial agreement? A postnuptial agreement may be signed

Due to the fact that prenuptial agreement discussions may not go well with dinners by candle light and bunches of roses, couples in Texas and elsewhere tend to procrastinate, convincing themselves to wait until the time is right. Unfortunately, such delays often lead to failing to have that dreaded discussion before the marriage. It is often reported that most divorce cases result from financial disputes, and if both parties are forthcoming about their finances, such disputes during a marriage may be avoided by signing a prenuptial agreement.

However, all is not lost for couples who fail to sign a prenuptial agreement. Texas law allows couples to sign postnuptial agreements. If legal requirements are followed during the drafting of these agreements, both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be found valid by a court and will be enforceable. Full disclosure of financial details of both spouses is required for both types of agreements. A problem may arise for couples signing postnuptial agreements, because most of their assets become community property upon marriage.

Regardless of whether it is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that is signed, it must be explicit with regard to what happens with earnings, assets, real estate and appreciation in values. Who will pay which bills with which funds can be specified, and directives for possible future alimony payments can be included. Conditions in which such agreements are deemed invalid include a discovery of non-disclosure of assets, or proof that one party was misled or coerced into signing the document. The court may also question the validity of a prenuptial agreement that is signed too close to a wedding date or is otherwise against public policy.

Texas couples may want to take note that each party has to be represented by an attorney upon the signing of these agreements. It may be comforting to know that experienced divorce attorneys are typically familiar with the different matters that need to be addressed when drafting a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement. With agreements in place to protect the interests of all parties, couples may find it easier to enjoy a long and happy marriage.

Source: blog.credit.com, "Prenup vs. Postnup: Which Is Better?", Rebecca Zung, June 1, 2015

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