What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
In Texas and many other states, two people who are planning to get married can enter into a contract called a prenuptial agreement. This agreement stays in effect during the marriage and, if a divorce occurs, will govern how some of the couple’s property will be divided.
In addition to addressing the division of assets, a prenuptial agreement can also address the following issues:
• Responsibility for premarital debts
• Ownership of marital home
• Property distribution after death of a spouse
• Determining which property is separate, and which is community (owned together by both spouses)
• Resolving future financial disputes
• Addressing alimony and child support obligations
There several reasons why you might consider having a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot.
One partner enters marriage with significantly more wealth: This is the reason most of us know what a prenup is. We hear about wealthy, celebrity couples who have prenuptial agreements to protect their many assets from those who would marry for money, rather than love.
One partner has significantly more debt: When one spouse has a high debt load, having a prenup can protect the other spouse and any community property from those debts. It can also protect the other spouse from responsibility for those debts in the event of a divorce.
One partner owns a business: If you own a business, your spouse may end up with partial ownership in the event of a divorce. An prenuptial agreement can help protect your business from such a division.
One partner has family property: A prenup can also be used to protect family property,- including heirlooms that should remain in your family after your death or divorce.
One partner plans to quit working to raise children: Being a stay at home parent is a wonderful job, but it can affect both your current income and future earning potential. If you have a prenuptial agreement, it can help protect the spouse who gave up working in the event of a divorce.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A Texas postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenup, but it is entered into after the couple is married. A postnup is created for the same reasons as a prenup, but often the agreements come when marital problems arise in an effort to help couples to improve and preserve their marriage.
For a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to be legally valid, the following conditions must be met:
• The agreement is signed by both parties.
• A full disclosure of finances and assets is included.
• Neither party was under duress to sign the agreement.
Get Help with Marital Agreements in Houston
At The Gonzalez Group, we understand that no one wants to see their marriage end. However, the statistics show that it does happen to many couples. Because marriage is a legal contract, setting up legal protections in the event that a divorce occurs isn’t being pessimistic about your future, it is a reasonable and responsible action.
Just like creating a will or setting up a retirement account, implementing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can protect you, your spouse, your children and other loved ones in the future. The Houston family law attorneys at The Gonzalez Group can help you do just that. Contact us today for assistance.