Marital agreements, including prenuptial agreements entered prior to marriage and marital property agreements entered into during a marriage) are valuable tools for preserving rights related to your property from division upon a divorce or distribution/inheritance upon death. Marital property agreements are of prime importance to individuals entering into a second or subsequent marriage, especially where there are children from a previous marriage or partnership.
The most common use of a marital agreement in Texas is a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a legal business contracted that is agreed upon by both parties prior to forming a legal union. The breadth of a prenuptial agreement is the purview of the two parties involved.
The misconception of many Texas couples is that only prenuptial agreements are only for high net-worth individuals. The reality of the situation, is a prenuptial agreement is a tool many couples use to protect themselves and assets they have acquired, regardless of net worth. We have counseled many couples that are embarking on the second or third marriage and want to protect themselves and their assets. In many cases a spouse or both spouses are entering into a marriage with preexisting property assets and children. A simple way to insure that your assets are dividing correctly in the event of a divorce is to develop a prenuptial agreement.
Marital agreements require careful review and negotiation by an attorney with knowledge of the complexities of property laws in Texas. Also, engaging an attorney as your advocate early in the process can help ensure that your interests are preserved, whether you want the challenge or better understand a proposed agreement, or are entering into an amicable agreement.
Marital agreements are contracts between parties who are going to be married or those who are already married. These contracts can change the character of property from community to separate and vice versa. These agreements can also address spousal support in the event of divorce as well as property division upon a divorce. Marital agreements allow parties to contract for many different things within the marriage. You cannot, however, contract regarding child custody, child support, or any other items that require the court to account for the best interest of the child.
A properly prepared and executed marital property agreement can streamline divorce proceedings and probate/inheritance distributions. This is a very good tool to ensure property is divided as the parties intend and that the costs in case of divorce or death are kept to a minimum.
The Family Law attorney at Shane Kersh has successfully negotiated a variety of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for our clients. Whether you seek guidance to prepare, to enforce, or to challenge a marital agreement, contact our attorneys today to discuss your goals and to understand your rights.
If you are interested in preparing a prenuptial agreement or marital agreement contact our Pearland or Houston Offices to schedule a consultation with Shane Kersh.