Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
The terms prenuptial and postnuptial agreements often have a negative connotation, but they are instrumental in protecting property during a marriage, especially a second marriage where property has been earmarked toward children of a prior marriage. Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements play an important role in marriages involving high net-worth estates and can help guarantee that your children and grandchildren will be provided for in the years to come. You do not want to leave your children with nothing if you were to expectedly pass away. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will help provide for your children and will ensure that they receive the inheritance they would be entitled to receive outside of your marriage.
Prenuptial agreements are entered into prior to the marriage and involve the separation of specified assets throughout the course of the marriage. Whereas some personal property ordinarily becomes the property of both spouses during the marriage, a prenuptial agreement will protect these designated assets from the other party in the event of a divorce, or the death of one party. This will help ensure that the children of one party will be guaranteed their inheritance upon the death of their parent. While this is often a difficult decision to make, it has helped numerous couples in dividing their estates later in life, and helps to ensure that their children are adequately taken care of. In most relationships, both parties understand the necessity for a prenuptial agreement. Rather than causing a rift in the marriage, it often helps strengthen the marriage.
If a marriage has occurred prior to the agreement of a prenuptial agreement, both parties can also agree to a postnuptial agreement which operates in the same manner as the prenuptial agreement. While the marriage has already begun (meaning that community property may have already begun to attach to certain assets), a postnuptial agreement will prevent further attachments from taking place, and will continue to guarantee that certain specified separate property remains separate.
Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements serve the purpose of converting separate property into community property. However, it must be clear that both spouses voluntarily signed the agreement and that the agreement was not “unconscionable” at the time of signing. Additionally, if one spouse later determines that a substantial amount of assets was hidden from them at the time of the signing, the agreement could be found void by a court. It is therefore important to be forthcoming about all assets and the attempt to ensure they are kept as separate property.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Family Law Attorney
If you have questions regarding a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Malley Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling the drafting of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and will ensure that you receive the protection of your assets during a marriage. These agreements do not necessarily mean that you do not trust your spouse, but simply that you have specific wishes for a percentage of your marital estate. Contact our Houston and Beaumont offices today for your initial free consultation.