- Premarital or Post-Marital Agreements Also Known As Prenuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
- August 14, 2014 | Author: Sally S. Andrews
- Law Firm: The Law Offices of Sally S. Andrews - Houston Office
- Today couples about to marry are far more likely to sign a premarital or prenuptial agreement as one or both of them is more likely to have worked independently and acquired assets that they wish to have as their separate property; or one or more of them stands in line to inherit business and other property from a parent or grandparent. Texas is a community property state. This means that any property belonging to a married couple is presumed to be community. It is the burden on the party stating that the property is separate to have the records and the documentation to establish that the property is separate.
Texans frequently think that merely by labeling a bank account or brokerage account as separate property they have protected this money or assets as their separate property. This is rarely the case. Any bank account opened during marriage is considered community. Any bank account that is owned by a person at the time of divorce or death is presumed to be community, unless, the person claiming it is separate can so show it. This is why premarital or prenuptial agreements have become popular in Texas. This is the only way to keep interest or dividends or free of being played as community. In fact, there are attorneys who do not think that this is good enough. The safest way is if one claims and has established that a bank account or brokerage account is separate property is at least annually to remove al interest and put the interest or the dividends into a community or family bank account.
The goal of a prenuptial agreement is to self establish that property or assets are separate or being brought into the marriage or if later inherited or acquired as a gift can be maintained as separate property.
Given the high divorce rate, people enter marriage aware a divorce might be forthcoming. Many think that by coming to an agreement as to what property will remain separate and what will be shared is best done during the period when the couple cares for each other rather than at the point of divorce when one or more parties is unhappy with the relationship and wishes to be unentangled.
In Texas, prenuptial agreements are withstanding court challenges. They do keep many issues out of the court and away from publicity.
Equally important is to think about what would happen if one of the couple dies. That is why frequently the best premarital or prenuptial agreements are done with a person with experience in both family law and probate law or with one attorney who is an expert in probate law and one in family law. Because of the previous experience in this firm we do have the knowledge of both probate and family law, even though we not practically no longer practice divorce law.
There are many ways to look after the person one loves and this should be discussed and brought into a good prenuptial or premarital agreement.