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How post-nuptial agreements work

When Texas couples get married, they usually want to be together for life. Unfortunately, the U.S. divorce rate shows that even people with the best intentions can't always make their marriages work. One common reason for marital discord is that many couples fight about finances. While prenuptial agreements are one way to get couples to talk about finances before marriage, not every couple has one. However, it is still possible to draft a binding financial agreement even after a couple says, "I do."

Post-nuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial contracts: They are legally binding documents in which the couple agrees to specific arrangements surrounding finances and even child custody. Some couples will opt for a post-nuptial agreement because they realize, after the wedding, that they would like to protect certain assets such as a home or a financial windfall.

In other cases, a post-nup is the result of poor behavior on the part of one or both spouses. For example, if a wife is a spendthrift and constantly goes into debt, her husband may ask her to sign a post-nuptial agreement in which she will assume responsibility for it if the couple divorces. While the husband may genuinely want to preserve the marriage, asking her to sign such an agreement is a way that he can protect himself if she does not change her behavior.

Individuals and couples considering such agreements may benefit from speaking with a family law attorney. The lawyer might be able to review the client situation and make recommendations for drafting a post-nuptial agreement that conforms with state laws and meets the needs of both parties.

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