What are Premarital Agreements? (AKA Prenuptial Agreements)
Premarital agreements are used to spell out the rights and duties of people before they marry. Premarital agreements are allowed to cover any topic that might come up in a marriage as long as the agreement does not violate public policy, or affect a child’s right to support, or defraud creditors.
I have drafted many premarital agreements and the reasons that people want to have them in place vary widely. I mostly see the use of premarital agreements in older individuals getting married a second or third time. These folks have usually had a taste of what a divorce court can do to community property, and have been able to amass a large portfolio of assets. However, a premarital agreement can be just as useful for a younger person too. The following are several reasons why a premarital agreement may be used:
· To save a family estate for children of previous marriages;
· To ensure future children will be raised a certain way, for instance what religion the child(ren) will be raised as;
· To decide which spouse will be responsible for paying family taxes;
· To clarify what property is owned at the time of marriage and its value;
· To determine the ownership rights to property that might be acquired during the marriage;
· To determine how the income each spouse earns during the marriage will be divided upon a divorce;
· To ensure that a spouse does not lose ownership of any assets that they come into the marriage with that may get co-mingled during the marriage.
· To eliminate or modify the ability for the other spouse to receive spousal support upon divorce;
Deer Park Texas Premarital Agreement Attorney
Having listed all of these very logical reasons for having a premarital agreement put in place prior to marriage, and having drafted many agreements for future spouses, I still have never really been able to understand how the idea of having a premarital agreement executed prior to marriage really happens. What I mean is that once you propose to your future spouse, or you accept a proposal to spend the rest of your life together, how do you ask that just in case things end poorly that you want to be able to keep all your stuff and they keep theirs? I venture to guess that the reason why most people that I draft these agreements for are on their second or third marriage, is that these people take a very practical look at marriage and realize that even with the best of intentions, a marriage is a very hard thing to make work and that with the statistics showing that half of all marriages end in divorce, these people want to keep all the assets they have worked so hard to acquire.
Premarital agreements must be drafted prior to the marriage, although it does not matter how soon before the marriage. It is best to begin the process at least 5 or 6 months prior to the wedding date to allow plenty of time for drafting and review before executing the documents. There are cases in Texas where premarital agreements have been overturned because they were rushed on the other spouse without allowing adequate time to review and consult with an attorney. It is best when drafting the agreements for both parties to have a full 100% disclosure of all current assets. This prevents either spouse later saying they had no idea what they were giving up, which can be a defense to enforcement of the agreement.
If you are interested in having a premarital agreement drafted and executed prior to your marriage, please feel free to come in and talk to me about your situation. 281-476-9447
Seabrook Texas Premarital Agreement Attorney