Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Agreements that effect assets in the case of divorce are a necessity for many people in today’s society. We have all heard horror stories of people losing their jobs because of the fight over a business during a divorce, or of protracted divorce battles lasting years and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Much of this can be avoided by laying a proper legal foundation during the good times of a relationship. Prenuptial, and postnuptial agreements can be an indispensable tool in exercising responsible fiduciary duties.
Do I need a prenuptial agreement?
Experts vary as to who needs a prenuptial agreement. The one thing they seem to agree on is as the amount of money you enter a relationship with grows, so does your need for a prenuptial agreement. But even in instances where there isn't a lot of money at stake, prenuptial agreements can be beneficial. If you own a small business that has outside investors, or that employs other people, you need to consider sheltering them from the adverse effects of your relationship with your spouse. If you have the potential for high future earnings it would be wise to consider a prenuptial agreement. Or if you or your future spouse have adult children, preparing in advance for inheritance issues can give them peace of mind and smooth their acceptance of your new relationship.
What is a Postnuptial agreement (Partition Agreement)Postnuptial agreements, sometimes called partition agreements, are less well known but serve essentially the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement with the obvious difference being that they are signed after the marriage has taken place. However, this is not the only difference. In Texas postnuptial agreements are limited to dealing with property only while prenuptial agreements can address a wider scope of issues.
Why do I need a lawyer? Can't we just make an informal agreement?While courts are free to look at any signed document during divorce proceedings, you are much better protected if the document meets the legal standards set forth in Texas law. If a prenuptial agreement does not closely follow the law, you stand a good chance of it being invalidated by the court. It is always wise to create a firm legal foundation, as the cost of not doing so is usually much higher down the road.
Eddington Worley, PC