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Post-nuptial agreements have benefits

After getting married, it may be depressing to enter a contract addressing what happens if the couple ever divorces. Like prenuptial agreements, however, these post-nuptial agreements can help a couple in Texas if they ever end their marriage. In some cases, these agreements may also strengthen their marriage.

A postnup is like a prenuptial agreement in that it sets terms for property division and other matters if the relationship ever ends. Postnups are executed, however, after the couple is married and may address responsibilities and behavior during marriage.

A postnup may bring important issues to the spouses' attention and possible resolution of behavior that is jeopardizing the marriage. Spouses cannot ignore issues that become part of the postnup negotiation. Discussion can also make the couple deal with larger issues and move their focus from one or two instances of bad behavior that is harming their relationship.

Legal provisions in a postnup may also clarify the specific behavior that is expected. Negotiating these agreements can increase awareness of unexpected conduct and encourage a spouse to work more at making needed changes in their behavior.

A postnup may set forth consequences if a spouse fails to live up to its terms or engages in conduct that is considered a violation of the agreement. Consequences such as loss of money or custody can provide an important incentive for compliance.

A postnup also encourages transparency and candid discussion. Negotiation may also limit taking advantage of the other spouse's weaknesses by manipulation or confrontational behavior.

Ironically, a couple who is still in their relationship may face a better atmosphere for dealing with legal issues that could arise during their divorce. Dealing with issues while trying to save the relationship is better than when the couple is in the middle of a break-up.

Spouses who are considering a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement should have an attorney to represent their individual interests. An attorney can help assure that these agreements reflect their needs and comply with Texas law.

Source: Hitched Magazine, "The benefit of post-nups: A simple legal document to guide your marriage," Tom Gardiner, JD, Oct. 6, 2017

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