Skilled Assistance with Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Texas
Family law attorney in The Woodlands, TX provides personalized attention
Prenuptial agreements were once derided as “divorce planning,” then became grudgingly accepted as “divorce insurance.” Now they are widely accepted as essential elements of marriage planning, especially for two-career couples and second marriages where the spouses have already accumulated significant wealth. At the Law Office of Jerry Porter, we view prenuptial and postnuptial agreements as basic protections for prudent couples. In more than 30 years of practice, I have helped numerous couples negotiate, draft, review and execute marital agreements. I have also litigated issues related to marital agreements in divorce proceedings. Given how simple these instruments are to execute and how strongly they can protect your interests, I would urge you to consider a marital agreement, but not without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney.
How a marital agreement protects your interests
A marital agreement, whether it is prenuptial or postnuptial, is essentially a contract between spouses that lays out how their property will be divided in the event of divorce. Couples can also contract for alimony. The only issue related to their marriage that they cannot contract for is their children. Child support is a right of the child, and courts decide child custody based on the best interests of the child at the time the issue is heard.
The major way a marital agreement protects your property rights is to declare which assets and debts are separate rather than part of the marital estate. In the event of divorce, this assures your property rights and helps speed up the process, especially in a high net-worth divorce where accounting for property is especially complex. Couples who are entering a marriage with significant individual wealth or a great disparity in wealth can use a prenup to protect their holdings.
Partition agreements during your marriage
Couples who have been married a while may decide to enter a postmarital agreement regarding their property. In Texas, these are known as partition agreements, because they divide a marital estate into two separate, personal estates. Partition agreements are especially appropriate where couples have inadvertently commingled separate assets, creating confusion about whether property is jointly or individually owned.
For instance, a husband may inherit a vacation home. Inheritances are separate property. However, if the couple co-signs a mortgage on that home and uses those funds to finance the expansion of the wife’s business, the lines separating marital and individual property are now blurred. In using the vacation home for the benefit of both, did the husband admit that the wife is part owner? In using the home’s equity to underwrite his wife’s business, did the husband become a part owner? A partition agreement can help straighten out the mess caused by commingling.
Ask a knowledge family law attorney in The Woodlands about marital agreements
Prenups and postnups are not for everyone, but they can certainly help people of means avoid frustration and losses when property is divided. I have more than 30 years of experience. I have helped numerous clients protect their assets by executing marital agreements. In The Woodlands, Montgomery County or the greater Houston area, call 346.333.1835 or contact the Law Office of Jerry Porter online to schedule a consultation.