Lakeway Postnuptial Agreements Attorneys

Lakeway Postnuptial Agreements

No matter how long (or short) a marriage has lasted, any marriage can benefit from a postnuptial agreement. Though not as well known as its sibling, the premarital agreement (or “prenup”), postnuptial agreements can help spouses achieve their goals. Please consult our webpage on Lakeway premarital agreement post for a brief overview of the ins and outs of those agreements. For those already married, continue reading to gain and understanding of the benefits and limits of postnuptial agreements.

Postnuptial Agreements: The Basics

Though postnuptial agreements share many similarities with premarital agreements, their differences warrant some explanation. Premarital agreements are signed by individuals in anticipation of marriage. By contrast, a postnuptial agreement can only be made between spouses. Most couples who seek a postnuptial agreement do so to clarify the spouses’ rights and obligations. Generally, spouses will explore postnuptial agreements when there has been a material change to the circumstances of one or both of the spouses. Common examples of such changes include changes to professional practice of one of the spouses, or other significant life events. Additionally, postnuptial agreements can be amended or modified as needed, and can even be used to modify premarital agreements.

What are the Benefits of Postnuptial Agreements?

Postnuptial agreements can address a broad range of subjects, including property classification, and the spouses’ marital responsibilities. Property classification centers around whether the spouses’ property is community or separate. Community property is that property in which both spouses have an equal ownership interest. A spouse’s separate property is that property in which only one spouse has an ownership interest. For example, the marital residence is often community property, while gifts to a spouse are separate property. In Texas, courts will proceed on the assumption that all property is community property. As a result, a spouse will have the burden of proof when arguing that an asset is separate property. To avoid this tedious process, couples routinely use postnuptial agreements to specify their separate property claims. Doing so can help reduce tension in the relationship by negating future conflicts. To learn more about community and separate property, please consult our blog post on the topic here.

Many blended families can also benefit from postnuptial agreements. Many individuals who remarry do not realize the state’s default property division rules. When a spouse dies in Texas, all of his or her assets pass to the surviving spouse. For example, one newly married Lakeway couple each had had a child from their previous marriages. Only months after the new marriage ceremony, the husband tragically died in a car accident. Pursuant to the default rules in Texas, the entirety of his assets passed to his new widow. In an unfortunate turn of fate, the widow met an untimely end not long after. Again, the default rules kicked in, and her assets passed to her child, with the late husband’s child receiving nothing. We will never know if this result conformed with the late husband’s wishes, but most parents want to ensure that the needs of their children are met. Postnuptial agreements can help protect their children’s interests, and avoid peculiar results that flow from the state’s default rules.

Some couples turn to postnuptial agreements to control how their retirement accounts are handled. Pursuant to Texas law, contributions to retirement accounts made during marriage are community property. This rule even affects couples who have made efforts to keep their accounts separate. With a postnuptial agreement, couples can ensure that their retirement accounts (and even future contributions) are each spouse’s separate property.

Postnuptial Agreements: Thresholds for Validity

With our newly gained appreciation of the benefits of postnuptial agreements, we can now turn to their requirements for legal validity. To be an effective agreement, a postnuptial must:

  1. Be written
  2. Voluntarily signed by both parties, and
  3. Contain a full financial disclosure or waiver thereof.

The term “written” permits more than most people think. A “written” document could include everything from a handwritten note scrawled on a bar napkin to multi-page email chain. Because of this broad definition, it is important to seek the advice of a lawyer early in your postnuptial agreement process, otherwise some written records may be incorporated into a final agreement.

Both parties must sign the final written agreement “voluntarily.” This prong was intended to reduce fraud and other unconscionable behavior. Courts often engage in extensive fact-driven inquiries to determine whether a party’s conduct was “unconscionable.” These determinations have led to some conflicting results. One court found that another husband’s threat to take his wife’s children away unless she signed the agreement was clearly unconscionable. However, another court held that any document that had been negotiated by the parties could only have been signed voluntarily.

The last important prong is the full financial disclosure or waiver thereof. But even this requirement has produced some interesting rulings.

For example, one court found that even though the wife’s financial disclosure was out-of-date, the agreement was still valid because the husband was an accountant and should have known the figures were not current.

If you would like a more thorough analysis of the benefits of postnuptial agreements, please consider reading our eBook here. You can also contact our offices at (512) 746-7399 to speak with one of our experienced Lakeway postnuptial agreement lawyers today.

Request Consultation

Empowering Clients.

Achieving Results. ®


  • "The divorce process is not an easy one, but I always felt fully supported, informed, and guided by Chris and the staff. Chris always laid out the options, made me aware of the risks, and provided me with recommendations, but he also gave me the flexibility to work out things with my ex where I could, to speed up the process and avoid some legal expenses. I highly recommend Chris for family law representation. ”

    David - Divorce Representation

  • "I’m a lawyer myself and Holly helped me with my recent divorce. She did an amazing job. She covered all the little issues that would have collectively cost me a bunch of money in the long run if she had not been so detail-oriented and focused. She is a tenacious advocate for her clients who aims to resolve matters amicably but will fight tooth-and-nail for her clients if that is what it takes to reach a...”

    Anonymous - Holly is the lawyer who lawyers hire for their own divorces

  • "Chris handled my case professionally, efficiently, and demonstrated a very strong knowledge of family law. Chris took the time to learn and understand all aspects of my situation and used that knowledge to develop a focused strategy that led to a successful outcome. I highly recommend Chris. ”

    Martin - Excellent Lawyer

  • "They were so amazing to work with, second to none in responsiveness and work ethic. I would recommend her work to anyone looking for family law, and could not be happier with my decision to work with them. Just a great group of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the work they do. ”

    Josh Campbell - Family Law

  • "This was as good an experience as you can possibly have with a divorce situation! They were professional yet compassionate. They treated me with great respect and were always available to answer my questions. The best part is they always had my best interest at heart. I would highly recommend Kirker Davis. They are the best! ”

    Susan M. - A divorce situation

  • "This was my first time ever working with lawyers and words cannot express how grateful I am. I needed direction during a difficult time and she provided step by step service. Would highly recommend! ”

    Erik J - Highly recommended

  • "I praise Attorney Alyse Donnelly for all the hard work and hours she put in my divorce case. I believe that her experience, knowledge, and quick thinking resulted in beneficial results on my behalf. ”

    Bertha S - My divorce case

  • "My experience with Kirker Davis has been amazing. She and her team respond within minutes or hours to even the most mundane requests. From the moment I walked in the office, I was greeted with an exceptional level of service, and even the receptionist inspires class and confidence. I wholeheartedly recommend this firm. ”

    Daniel - Custody case

  • "My ongoing experiences throughout our working together, made me feel like they were genuinely concerned about me and my integrity. Fantastic results! ”

    Edward - Fantastic results

Austin Family Attorneys

Is Divorce Imminent

Download “The 4 Steps In Every Divorce” eBook so you can be better prepared

Download Now

Austin Family Attorneys

Request Consultation

A strategic step towards resolution

Submit a Request
  • Austin Office