Premarital Agreements and Why You Should Consider Having One
Premarital or prenuptial agreements are nothing more than a contract entered into between two parties contemplating marriage. The agreement must be in writing and executed by both parties. It is enforceable without consideration and becomes effective on the date of marriage but can be amended at any time after the marriage takes place.
Since Texas is a community property state, community property or property acquired during the marriage is generally divided equally between the parties. However, Texas is not bound by any statutory 50/50 division of community property and often the division can be some other split that is deemed to be equitable by the court, such as 60/40 or 80/20. Rather than leaving that decision up to the discretion of a court, parties can agree that certain property owned prior to marriage and any income from that property earned during the marriage relationship, normally considered community property, will remain separate property as well.
Prenuptial agreements can address everything other than child support and are enforceable unless it is proven that the agreement was not signed voluntarily, the agreement itself was unconscionable or a party was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party, did not waive in writing such disclosure of same or did not have adequate independent knowledge of them.
One of the many reasons that prenuptial agreements are used is the accumulated wealth over many years of one of the parties to the upcoming marriage, so as to avoid being married for their money. Similarly, if one of the parties has owned a business, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that your spouse doesn't end up owning part of the business after a divorce creating an unwanted and uncomfortable partnership.
Another reason is second, third or fourth marriages involving children, property and obligations from these previous marriages and how they will be dealt with upon death.
Prenuptials are also beneficial prior to marriage for people who have a considerable debt load and the one partner with the debt doesn't want the other to be responsible for it if the marriage ends up in divorce, or vice versa. Finally, these agreements can ensure that some specific property previously acquired remains in your family in the event of death.
Whatever the reason or need for a premarital or prenuptial agreement, these documents are highly complicated and must be drafted very carefully to withstand scrutiny at some later point in time. As such, it is of utmost importance that you seek the advice and counsel of an attorney experienced in every aspect family law, including premarital agreements.
San Antonio family attorney Allan R. Manka and his firm has nearly 60 years of collective experience in dealing with a wide array of family law matters and are highly regarded by their peers and the judiciary in Bexar County and throughout the state. He has helped many clients in San Antonio and the surrounding areas of Pleasanton, Jourdanton, Hondo, Boerne and New Braunfels, in addition to serving those at Lackland and Randolph Air Force Bases.
Contact us today to schedule your confidential, no obligation consultation so that we can help you with your particular situation and needs.
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