Using Premarital Agreements to Avoid Future Conflict
Also referred to as prenups or prenuptials, premarital agreements are contracts that define the rights, duties and obligations of each party during the marriage and in the event of death or divorce. Most commonly, they are used to avoid future conflicts over the division of community property in divorce.
At Albin Roach, we draft premarital and post-marital agreements for clients in Collin County, Denton County and throughout North Texas as a whole. We make certain our clients’ rights and interests are protected and that all of the formalities required to make the agreement valid are followed.
First, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements can address almost any issue you want. In fact, the only major divorce-related issues they cannot settle without court-approval are those that involve child custody, visitation and child support.
Second, to ensure validity each party should be represented by her or his own attorney. Additionally, negotiations should not take place nor should the agreement be signed under any type of duress (e.g., only a short time before the marriage is scheduled to take place). Last, it is best to have full disclosure of all assets and property.
Third, a valid agreement can be used to modify the normal community property rights under Texas Law. For instance, while a prenuptial is generally not necessary to protect separate property that you bring into a marriage — Texas considers any income derived from separate property during the marriage to be community property. With a valid agreement, you can designate that income as separate from the marriage pool.
Having said all of this, there are also some good reasons not to get a premarital agreement. We would be happy to discuss these and any other concerns you have at our initial meeting.
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