Marital agreements in Texas have a complex history and can affect various parts of a divorce, such as alimony/spousal maintenance, child support, and property division. However, established case law can make them challenging to enforce. With the help of a seasoned marital agreement attorney, however, a marital agreement can be written that is legally enforceable in case of divorce.
You will learn in this blog post about the types of marital agreements available in Texas. If you have questions about whether a marital agreement is appropriate for you, speak to one of our Fort Worth marital agreement attorneys for advice. You can call (214) 273-2400 for a legal consultation today.
A premarital agreement, also called a prenuptial agreement or a “prenup,” allows a couple to detail how various assets and debts will be treated if a death or divorce occurs. The agreement is a legal contract that can establish financial expectations and obligations between the parties. A premarital agreement in Texas must adhere to Section 4.003 of the Texas Family Code, including these provisions:
- The parties’ rights regarding the property they own, such as management, right to sell, and what will happen in case of death, divorce, or other unforeseen events.
- Changes to spousal support.
- Wills and trust as they relate to carrying out the premarital agreement terms.
A premarital agreement goes into effect when the couple is married. If the marriage does not happen, the agreement is void and unenforceable. Once the spouses are married, the contract may only be changed or revoked if both sign a document stating this desire, often called an Amendment. This requirement ensures that any and all changes made to the prenup are made with the knowledge and consent of both spouses.
A postnuptial agreement is made after the spouses have married. It may assist the parties to accomplish many of the same goals as a premarital agreement. For instance, the postnuptial agreement could cover converting community property into separate property or vice versa.
A postnuptial agreement also may allow the parties to agree that property or income from separate property that is owned by them when the agreement is made, will be the owner’s separate property.
Some wonder why a married couple would make this type of agreement. It could be appropriate to help them avoid problems that could crop up if there is a death, very large medical expenses, or divorce.
Speak To Our Fort Worth Marital Agreement Attorneys Now
Drafting a legally enforceable marital agreement takes skill and an eye for detail. Also important is the ability to anticipate many potential outcomes in marriage. Your marital agreement should only be written by an attorney who understands how these agreements are attacked during a divorce.
If the agreement is not written correctly, the attorney for the other spouse could argue in a divorce that that agreement is unconscionable—and therefore unenforceable. Or, the attorney could argue that their client did not sign the agreement voluntarily. Fraud, coercion, lack of knowledge, and lack of mental capacity are other factors that could be brought up to attack the property agreement.
The Fort Worth marital agreement attorneys at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing, & Anderson have many years of experience drafting these agreements, and they can ensure that your rights and finances are protected. Please call our attorneys today for legal advice on marital agreements at (214) 273-2400.