Ending a marriage can lead to time-consuming and expensive legal disputes. Divorces Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements serve as insurance policies that allow spouses to set forth agreements on financial and other issues in the event of a divorce.
A prenup is entered before marriage. These contracts usually include terms on spousal support, property division, use and ownership of property, allocation of debt, amount and length of spousal support and maintenance payments, obligations for creating a will or trust and which state law will govern any disagreement between the spouses. These agreements may be especially important in community property states like Texas.
Prenups cannot cover the parents' responsibilities over raising the children or child support. These issues depend upon the best interests of the child at the time of the divorce.
Spouses can amend or revoke their prenup agreements after they are married. This may be important because tax laws governing spousal support will change in 2019.
Couples who are already married without a prenup did not miss the boat. They can enter a postnuptial agreement, which can address their intentions for earnings and assets acquired during their marriage. Couples may enter a post-nuptial agreement if there are issues that threaten the marriage and to clarify potential areas of conflict. These agreements also help keep settlements confidential.
Both agreements encourage spouses to disclose assets and debts and engage in financial planning.
Courts may refuse to enforce agreements executed under duress, however. Each spouse should have their own attorney to advise them on these agreements, assist with negotiations and review terms.