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Postnuptial agreements increasing in popularity

While most couples in Texas are typically familiar with the idea of entering into prenuptial agreements before marriage, many are surprised to discover that couples are actually still able to draft postnuptial agreements following their wedding day.

Often referred to as postnups, postnuptial agreements are actually very similar to prenuptial agreements in that they allow couples to establish their property rights and dictate the division of assets should their marriages end in divorce. Importantly, the main difference between postnups and prenups is that postnups are drafted after couples are already married.

Postnups have been growing in popularity in recent years. For example, a report from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 51 percent of surveyed divorce lawyers stated that they saw an increase in postnups from 2009 to 2012.

Legal experts have posited various reasons for why couples decide to use postnups, including the fact that many couples draft postnups merely because they didn’t have sufficient time to draft a prenuptial agreement prior to their wedding day.

Moreover, couples will often consider postnups when their marriages are experiencing difficult times. This is because many couples assume that they will be able to deal with their other marital issues with greater ease if they take all problems related with money and assets off the table, which can be accomplished with a postnup. Finally, couples have been known to draft postnups when one of the parties receive a significant gift or inheritance with conditions attached.

Ultimately, postnups are designed to serve a very specific purpose within marriages. However, the laws in Texas regarding postnuptial agreements are very specific, which is why many couples seek the assistance of experienced family law attorneys if considering a postnup.

Source: USA Today, “Why postnups may be picking up,” Kelly Holland, July 14, 2013

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