Just about all married couples in Texas have heard of prenuptial agreements, even if they aren’t a party to one themselves. Similar to a prenup — in which terms and conditions for dividing assets and property are agreed upon before the marriage — a postnup outlines a division of property should a couple get divorced. The key difference, as the name implies, is that the arrangement is agreed on after a marriage has already begun.
Just as a prenup doesn’t encourage, or even portend, a divorce, a postnup is merely a legal arrangement between two people who may have significant assets that were acquired independently. Some couples are turning to postnups because they didn’t want to have to wait for a prenup to be negotiated before getting married. A postnup has the same legal standing, but it’s agreed upon at a different time.
Another possible reason for a postnup is to right a wrong that has occurred in a marriage. For example, if one partner’s philandering behavior put the marriage at risk, that partner might agree to concessions in a postnup if that partner wants to stay married.
Yet another scenario in which a postnup might be desired is if one spouse or the other receives a large windfall, such as a trust fund. It might be useful to sort out financial rights and obligations right then and there.
Whatever a couple’s reason for a postnuptial agreement might be, a family law attorney can help a couple discover what is best for them.
Source: USA Today, “Why postnups may be picking up,” Kelley Holland, July 14, 2013