Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

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Texas Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Protects Assets

Flower Mound lawyer drafts and enforces premarital agreements

Ilarraza Law, P.C. works with couples who wish to establish the terms of a settlement agreement either before or after they are married – in the event that they later decide to divorce or legally separate.

While a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement is generally frowned upon by society, working out a premarital agreement prior to marriage or a post-nuptial agreement after marriage can be very practical.

Working out the terms of a potential settlement in advance – especially if you have complex and/or vast joint and separate assets – allows you and your significant other to decide for yourselves how you wish your assets and debts to be divided.

Why Marital Property Agreements Are Important

Think of marital property agreements as flexible planning tools. They allow you and your spouse or potential spouse to decide how to divide assets in the event of divorce or death. They are very useful when it comes to designating who would receive assets in various circumstances. This can be very handy for those who have children from a previous marriage or relationship or those who have close family ties or verbal agreements with family members who are interested in specific assets.

One of the biggest benefits is that deciding ahead of time removes the disagreements and stress associated with long, complex legal battles that often result from divorce or death. In addition, setting these agreements up ahead of time allows you to take a more logical and thoughtful approach to the topic without the emotions associated with divorce.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements, also commonly referred to as pre-nup, are written contracts between two people prior to marriage. Prenups generally list each piece of property or each asset and the debts each partner owns. In addition, the contract specifies what the rights to each of those will be after marriage.

Why A Prenuptial Agreement Is An Expression Of Love

While most people think of a prenuptial agreement as something to protect the wealthy, that’s not necessarily the case. People may want a prenup to pass marital assets to children from previous relationships, gain protection from debts, clarify financial matters, rights, and responsibilities, and avoid arguments during divorce.

A prenuptial agreement allows couples to start their life together on solid ground while providing structure to have important conversations about their expectations during marriage, all while protecting their assets.

Terms of a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement addresses in specific terms many matters, including:

  • Who gets what assets in the event that you decide to end your legal union
  • How finances and assets will be handled during the marriage
  • Any business ownership issues
  • Protection of intellectual property
  • Protection of separate property
  • Spousal support or spousal maintenance terms
  • The handling of gifts, inheritance, or trusts
  • What to do with your estate in the event that one of you dies
  • Retirement planning and accounts
  • Estate planning
  • Benefits and disability and insurance coverage

Some couples use prenuptial agreements to reach an agreement on the complications of one party sacrificing their career in support of another or how a stay-at-home parent will be taken care of after they’ve left the workforce for several years to care for the couple’s children.

A comprehensive premarital agreement can help avoid conflict down the road.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A post-nuptial agreement, sometimes referred to as a postnup, is a contract created by couples after they’ve already entered into marriage. Postnuptial agreements outline the ownership of financial and physical assets in the event of divorce or death. Post-nuptial agreements also often include responsibility surrounding any children or other obligations for the duration of the partnership.

Terms of a post-nuptial agreement

Married couples who have decided to create post-nuptial agreements are considered fiduciaries of each other, and they are therefore required by law to provide each other with full disclosure of all information and issues pertaining to the drafting of the post nuptial agreement. The terms that can be settled by post nuptial agreements are similar to the ones included in prenuptial agreements.

Flower Mound lawyer drafts and enforces marital agreements

Prenuptial and postnuptial contracts allow the couple in the relationship to determine what happens to their marital assets in the event of divorce or death. If divorce or death occurs without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, then asset allocation will be up to the state. The state will determine who owns the community property as well as what happens to it. State law may even dictate what happens to the separate property you owned on your own prior to the relationship. Prenups and postnups are really about protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your wishes. You’re doing yourself and your current or prospective spouses a service by sorting out these things now rather than when emotions run high in a divorce or death.

Challenging and enforcing a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement

In the event that a prenuptial or a post nuptial agreement is signed, and you now wish to challenge the agreement because your spouse did not disclose all of his or her assets or debts, you were unfairly pressured into signing the agreement, or you were deceived into signing the contract, I will help you. We can challenge the terms of a defective prenuptial or post nuptial agreement and, if necessary, litigate your matter in court. I also represent clients who wish to enforce the terms of their prenuptial or post nuptial agreements that a soon-to-be ex-husband or ex-wife may now wish to contest.

We are Here to Help

Most parties don’t draft a pre-nuptial agreement, or a post-nuptial agreement based on the assumption that they will indeed divorce down the road. However, separation or divorce does happen sometimes. This is why you really want to make sure you’re hiring a family law attorney with experience in these matters. Hiring a qualified law firm can help you understand which mistakes to avoid when it comes to your physical and financial assets.

Here at Ilarraza Law, we can provide legal advice and help you draft legally binding pre and post marital agreements. Such agreements will stand up in court to protect both partners should they find themselves divorced or if one party were to pass away.

Call Ilarraza Law today at (214) 646-3253 to schedule your consultation to speak with a qualified divorce attorney for more information on marital settlement agreements, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and more.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How will we divide our assets and debts if the relationship ends?

If you have a prenup or postnup then you’ll divide your assets as outlined in the agreement. If not then you can either work together with the guidance of your legal teams to decide the division of marital assets during mediation or you may find yourself looking at a court battle if you cannot agree.

How can I protect my business just in case we divorce?

You can either use a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement to protect your business or you can hire an experienced divorce attorney to help you fight for your rights and business during a divorce. You can also take steps to keep business finances separate from marital finances and include verbiage in your business agreement, however, this may not always be enough. It’s best to speak with an attorney experienced in such matters.

Are there limits to what a prenup or postnup can do in Texas?

Yes. While Texas law does allow couples to enter into and enforce marital agreements, it does limit the scope of said agreements. For instance, an agreement cannot prevent child support payments without court review.