Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
Generally, the purpose of these agreements is to ensure certain property which would otherwise be characterized as the community, remains a spouse’s separate property.
Despite the laws in the state of Texas regarding the characterization of property, parties can and often do enter into agreements affecting the characterization of the property prior to marriage or even after marriage.
These agreements are generally referred to as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, depending on the date of their execution.
Regardless of whether you want to execute a marital agreement before or after your wedding day, both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements focus on what property will be community property versus separate property during your marriage which ultimately impacts how that property will be divided in the event of divorce or death.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Under Texas Law
Under Texas law, spouses can enter into agreements to partition community property, identify separate assets, and engage in other efforts regarding the financial landscape of their relationship. The statute uses the term “prenuptial agreement” to refer to arrangements that spouses-to-be will execute before marriage that becomes effective upon marriage.
Texas is a community property state which means there is a presumption that all assets acquired during the marriage are community property, belonging equally to both spouses. Anything obtained before the wedding, or through gift or inheritance, is considered to be the separate property of the acquiring spouse.
Complexities arise, however, when one spouse challenges the validity of a pre- or postnuptial agreement. Having an experienced attorney represent you in drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is an important part of the process in ensuring the agreement withstands challenges to its enforceability at a later date.
When spouses are already wed, they can execute a “partition and exchange” agreement to achieve their goals with respect to community property acquired during their marriage. This is more commonly referred to as a postnuptial agreement.
What Should be Included in your Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?
By statute, both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements must meet the same general requirements in order to be enforceable in court.
You should also note that state law does not allow the parties to adversely affect their obligations to provide child support. Because of the pitfalls in creating and executing a valid, enforceable document that complies with all these requirements, it is essential to consult with a lawyer who focuses on prenuptial and postnuptial agreement Texas laws. Contact an attorney at The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C. today.
When to Consider Marital Property Agreements
Even when you know the basics and requirements for different marital property agreements, these contracts may not be suitable for every soon-to-be or married couple. Prenuptial agreements are especially useful when:
- There is a great disparity between couples in terms of income, assets, or debts;
- You plan to have one spouse dedicate considerable time and effort to raising children and managing the household;
- One spouse is in or will be in school while the other supports the household;
- One spouse has ownership interests in a business; and
- One spouse has a significant estate tied to family businesses and inheritance.
These considerations may also come up once the couple is already married. However, because postnuptial agreements apply to a different phase of a couple’s life, there are additional factors to consider. If you are already married, you may determine a postnuptial agreement (also referred to as a marital property agreement) is appropriate if:
- One spouse has out-of-control spending habits;
- The parties want to identify gifts as belonging to one spouse or the other;
- Spouses would like to designate separate assets as community property; or
- If couples have pre-determined how to divide their assets in the event of divorce or death.
Reasons to Avoid a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
As with any agreement, there are factors that may cause a marital property agreement to be an unappealing move for one party.
In those instances, Texas laws regarding community versus separate property may be more favorable to an individual than a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Texas. For instance, a lower-earning spouse may be entitled to more in terms of property division and/or spousal maintenance than his or her loved one is offering in the marital agreement being proposed.
That is why it is crucial to have the assistances of an attorney well versed in these types of arrangements to help negotiate the best deal for you. Remember that sometimes the best deal for a client is no deal at all.
Your best bet is to work with a premarital agreement lawyer and/or a postnuptial agreement lawyer who puts your needs first. At The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C., putting clients’ needs first is our mission. Receiving the proper legal advice is absolutely crucial if you are the one being asked to sign a marital property agreement.
Consult with a Houston Lawyer about Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Texas Laws
Separating from a spouse through divorce or death is tough on parties financially which makes certain types of marital property and partition agreements attractive to both participants. Protecting your rights and ensuring the agreement is enforceable is just the beginning, so it is critical to have knowledgeable representation throughout the process.
Our legal team at The Stout Law Firm P.L.L.C. can assist with aspects of these agreements, so please contact us at 713.980.4300 to schedule an appointment with a prenuptial agreement and/or postnuptial agreement attorney. We can answer your questions, discuss your concerns, and provide advice on how to protect your interests.