If you are considering marriage, the idea of a premarital agreement has probably crossed your mind. Like many couples, you may think that bringing up these types of agreements can cause more stress to a promising relationship. As our Houston prenuptial agreement lawyer tells his clients, these agreements can actually make your relationship stronger because you are putting everything on the table and addressing it together. If you are trying to avoid this topic before marriage, it is going to be even more stressful should the relationship end. Think of it more as an insurance policy – just in case.
The purpose of a Houston premarital agreement is to protect each person’s property, finances, etc in case the couple divorces or if one of the spouses should pass away. This can open up the lines of communication in making sure you know each other’s wishes and making sure that each spouse is taken care of financially. Jason Lawrence, your Houston prenuptial agreement attorney will tell you what types of things should be included in the agreement (including which assets), what happens if the marriage ends (either in divorce or death), and more.
REASONS FOR SIGNING A PREMARITAL AGREEMENT
People intending to marry in Texas use premarital agreements for several reasons, some of which may be interrelated.
In Texas, people marrying for a second time have frequently accumulated substantial assets that they wish to protect through a premarital agreement. One or both partners may wish to avoid the risk of a major loss of assets, income, or a family business in the event of divorce or death.
Frequently people marrying for a second time are used to maintaining their own finances and may wish to do so after divorce.
Dual income professionals generally like to maintain separate estates. Also, many times middle aged people have children and grandchildren from a prior marriage that they need to provide for while also protecting their spouse from them.
Premarital agreements help the parties clarify their expectations and rights about the future. A premarital agreement may prevent uncertainties and fears about how a divorce will affect the parties if the marriage fails. If you have any similar concerns or if you would just like to discuss whether a premarital agreement is right for you, please contact your experienced Houston prenuptial agreement attorney to set up a consultation.
WHAT IS A POSTMARITAL OR POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENT?
At any time after marriage, Texas spouses may enter into a postmarital agreement which partitions or exchanges between themselves all or part of their community property, then existing or to be acquired as the spouses may desire. Once the property is partitioned or exchanged it becomes a spouse’s separate property. The partition or exchange of property includes future earnings or income arising from the property as the separate property of the owning spouse, unless the spouses agree future income and earnings will become community property.
Furthermore, in a post marital agreement, the parties may agree that all or part of the separate property owned by either or both of the spouses is to be converted into community property. The requirements for preparing a post marital agreement are virtually identical to the requirements for preparing a Houston prenuptial agreement.
Over the years, parties financial needs frequently change during the term of the marriage. While the parties wish to remain married, they frequently wish to address specific separate financial needs. For example, one party to a 10, 15, or 20 year marriage may have a relative who is going to require special needs care for many years to come.
Rather than burdening the entire community estate, frequently the parties will partition their community property into two separate estates, so that the one person with the special needs relative can make particular arrangements for that person and the other spouse’s property is free. Also, frequently couples that have been married for many years will have acquired houses, ranches, and businesses that need special attention.
Frequently it is easier to manage those properties by partitioning them in a manner that fits the party’s particular needs. If you have questions about a pre or postnuptial agreement, please contact Lawrence Law Firm for inquiries on Houston postnuptial or postmarital agreements today.