Houston Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
Are you thinking you don’t need a prenuptial agreement because you don’t have substantial assets to protect and besides, you’ll never get divorced and a prenup would only spoil the romance and get your marriage off to a bad start? The truth is that a prenuptial agreement is a smart move for just about anybody. And far from spoiling the mood, securing a prenup can set the stage for a marriage based on trust, security and peace of mind. A Houston family law attorney at the Law Office of Maria S. Lowry is available to answer your questions about prenuptial agreements, work with you and your spouse in deciding what terms should be included, and draft a solid and practicable premarital agreement custom-crafted to be valid and enforceable under Texas law.
What does a prenuptial agreement do?
A prenuptial, or premarital, agreement is a contract entered into by two people who are contemplating marriage. Once signed by both parties, the agreement becomes effective upon marriage. A prenuptial agreement deals with matters between the married couple in the event of divorce or the death of one of the spouses. Most often, the prenuptial agreement deals with property matters, such as what specific property one spouse may receive upon divorce and whether and how much spousal support (alimony) will be paid and for how long. A prenuptial agreement may also deal with matters related to the estate as well, such as requiring the making of a will or the purchase of a life insurance policy or determining whether a spouse can claim an elective share of the estate. A prenuptial agreement can be customized to address just about any subject of interest to the couple, although it cannot decide in advance matters related to child custody or child support.
Who can benefit from a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is most often sought when there is a large disparity in wealth between the individuals before entering marriage. A prenup can help ensure that the wealthier spouse does not get taken advantage of in a divorce while also assuring the less-wealthy partner that he or she will be adequately looked after in the event the marriage does not last. Prenuptial agreements are also popular for couples who have been married before, went through a difficult divorce, and wish to avoid that type of confrontation again. Blended families who have children from a previous marriage may also want a prenup to protect the inheritance rights of their children from the former marriage. As mentioned earlier, any couple can benefit from a prenuptial agreement by entering marriage on a sound footing with a complete understanding of each other’s finances, debts and intentions should the marriage someday end in dissolution.
Rules for a valid prenuptial agreement in Texas
To be valid and enforceable in Texas, a prenuptial agreement should meet the following criteria:
- It should be in writing
- It should be signed by both parties
- It should be negotiated in contemplation of marriage
- It must be entered into voluntarily by each party
- It should be based on a full and fair disclosure of each party’s assets and debts, unless disclosure is voluntarily waived
- It should not be grossly unfair to one party
Postnuptial Agreements in Texas
Texas law also recognizes the validity of postnuptial agreements. These agreements are drafted after the couple is already married. A postnuptial agreement that meets the requirements for legal validity can accomplish any of the things a prenuptial agreement can. A postnuptial agreement may be in order if the parties were not able to get to a prenuptial agreement before the marriage, or if changed circumstances make a marital agreement more important than it was before. A postnuptial agreement can also be used to alter or revoke a prenuptial agreement if done correctly.
Professional Help Negotiating, Drafting and Reviewing Texas Prenuptial Agreements
To explore whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is right for you, or for professional assistance negotiating, drafting or reviewing a prenuptial agreement that will be valid and enforceable in Texas courts, contact the Law Office of Maria S. Lowry at 713-850-8859 to discuss your needs with a skilled and knowledgeable Houston family law and divorce attorney.