Austin Pre-Marital & Post-Marital Agreement Attorneys
A thoughtfully crafted premarital or post-marital agreement could provide crucial protections for you or both you and your spouse. By discussing and outlining your wishes and creating an agreement that reflects what will happen in the event of divorce or other circumstances, you’ll prevent confusion or contentious battles in the long run.
It is a common misconception that such agreements are only for those with a high net worth or significant assets. However, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are helpful for any couple with property — such as homes, cars, and personal belongings — regardless of the value.
Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., has represented clients in divorce matters since 1963. We know Texas prenup laws and the statutes surrounding postnuptial agreements. When you hire us, we will explore the available options and assist you in drafting an agreement most beneficial for you.
Call us today for your free consultation with a prenuptial agreement lawyer in Austin and learn more about what we can do for you.
How Our Lawyers Help Couples with Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
You might not know whether you should draft a prenup before walking down the aisle or wait until you’re married to create a postnup. Some couples also create premarital agreements but decide to change the terms later.
Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., can help you create an agreement and ensure it covers every necessary aspect of your marriage. Whether you want to outline each person’s obligations during the marriage or protect your assets upon divorce, you can count on us to get the job done.
We will discuss your situation and help you determine what type of agreement would be best for you and your family. We will also take on the legal responsibilities of drafting the contracts and filing them with the court. Our goal will be to help you create and implement an agreement that protects what matters most to you.
What a Prenuptial Agreement Can Do for You
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract a couple signs before getting married. It can protect each person’s finances if divorce or separation occurs. It can also accomplish multiple goals, such as:
- Debt protection – Drafting a legally enforceable prenup could prevent creditors from recovering a spouse’s assets to pay off debt.
- Separate finances – Texas is a community property state. That means a couple’s assets are subject to community property laws. With a premarital agreement, you can outline how to distribute jointly owned assets upon divorce or either spouse’s death.
- Marital responsibilities – You can include the duties and obligations of each spouse in a prenup. For example, you might indicate who will manage the bills or determine your tax filing status.
- Family property – You might have personal property you wouldn’t want your spouse to receive if you divorced. Creating a prenup that explicitly states the family heirlooms or personal items you can keep if the marriage ends are vital.
State law allows couples to include various terms in their prenuptial agreement. Deciding what’s most important to you and drafting specific elements to protect yourself can mitigate your concerns about the future.
You can expect your Texas prenuptial agreement lawyer to provide the legal guidance and advice to decide what should be included in the contract.
When Should You Consider a Prenup?
You can protect yourself during various situations if your marriage ends by executing a prenuptial agreement. It not only keeps certain assets under your ownership, it also prevents you from taking on your spouse’s debt.
Prenups can make the process of divorce more straightforward. Instead of arguing about how to divide your property while settling the terms of a divorce, you can turn to the agreement you have in place to direct you on proceedings.
You should consider creating a premarital agreement if any of these factors apply to your situation:
- One or both of you have a high net worth.
- You want to protect a business you own.
- You want to avoid going to court to settle your divorce.
- Your spouse owns significant debt you don’t want to accept liability for upon divorce or their death.
- You want to keep your separate property out of your spouse’s hands if the marriage ends.
- One of you earns significantly more income than the other.
- You received a large inheritance.
- You have kids from a prior marriage.
- You want to protect a family heirloom.
- Starting your marriage with an open and honest conversation about each person’s finances is important to you.
No one wants to plan for the end of their marriage. Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. It is often easier to prepare for divorce (no matter how unlikely it might seem) while you’re on good terms with your partner rather than when things go bad. A clearly outlined prenup could help prevent costly legal battles in the future, which is something both parties would likely want to avoid.
Enforcing a Premarital Agreement in Austin, Texas
A prenup is a legally binding contract. Although state laws dictate how couples must proceed with a divorce, you could override the statutes by executing a valid prenuptial agreement before marriage.
You must follow specific procedures to ensure the contract you sign is legally enforceable in court. Any errors could prevent you from keeping the assets you want or avoid absorbing your spouse’s debt.
Below are common mistakes couples make while creating their prenup that could deem it invalid and unenforceable:
- One party didn’t agree to the agreement or did so under coercion
- One or both people didn’t sign the contract
- The terms of the agreement are grossly unfair
- One person didn’t receive reasonable or fair disclosure of the elements of the prenup before signing
- The couple didn’t sign the document in front of a notary public
- One party didn’t know about all of the other’s assets
An Austin prenuptial agreement attorney from Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., can assist you with your prenup. We will ensure it includes all necessary elements and meets protocols under Texas law.
What Are Postnuptial Agreements?
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenup. However, it’s a contract you and your spouse sign after getting married. You can execute one at any time during the marriage. You can also include various terms to protect yourself if your spouse dies or one of you decide to file for divorce.
Your postnup can contain a range of terms, such as:
- How to manage a family business if death or divorce occurs
- How to divide assets during divorce proceedings
- Whether the divorce settlement will allow one spouse to receive spousal maintenance
- Details of an estate plan, including executing a trust, will, and power of attorney
- Determine the assets and money children will receive if the marriage ends or one spouse dies
- Which person will manage and control property while married
- Other duties and obligations of each spouse during marriage, divorce, or death of either person
You don’t necessarily have to create a postnuptial agreement if you think you’re heading for divorce or experiencing trouble in the marriage. In fact, drafting a postnup is beneficial when you and your spouse are getting along. That way, the terms of the agreement remain fair. You can have an open and honest conversation about every element you want the contract to contain; this way, you’ll feel protected and get what you want out of the arrangement.
What Are Cohabitation Agreements?
A cohabitation agreement can protect couples who live together and have no intention of pursuing marriage in the future. State law recognizes informal marriages when it comes to legally enforceable contracts.
You can draft a cohabitation agreement with your significant other if you intend to reside in the same home but never get married. The terms of the contract can include similar terms a prenup or postnup would contain, such as:
- Which person can remain in the home after breaking up
- How to divide jointly owned assets
- How to split funds in a joint checking or savings account
- Custody and visitation for children the couple shares
- Who is responsible for shared debts and liabilities
- Whether one person will pay the other child support if they have kids together
- How to handle the sale of property, such as motor vehicles and real estate
Marital Agreement Frequently Asked Questions
At Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., we understand that you likely have many questions about creating a prenup or postnup agreement. There are many factors to consider while drafting a legal document. Understanding and following state laws is vital to ensure your agreement is enforceable when necessary. We encourage you to meet with one of our experienced prenuptial agreement lawyers if you have questions about your situation.
Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about marital agreements.
How Much Does a Prenup Cost in Texas?
The cost of executing a prenuptial agreement in Texas can vary. It depends on attorneys’ fees, filing fees, and other expenses necessary to file the document.
Can My Partner and I Use the Same Attorney for Our Prenuptial Agreement?
No. You and your partner should hire different lawyers to represent you during prenuptial agreement negotiations.
If We Don’t Get a Prenup and Then Separate, What Happens to Our Property?
Nothing will happen to your property during separation unless either of you decides to pursue legal action against the other. You can’t divide assets until you file for divorce. However, you could pursue a legal separation and draft an agreement to determine how you want to handle the marital home, property division, child custody, and other arrangements.
If you decide to divorce and don’t have a prenuptial agreement, your property is subject to community property laws. That means the court can divide all jointly owned assets based on what’s just and right.
Can Prospective Child Support and Alimony Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
The Texas prenuptial agreement statute does not allow either party to include any provisions in the contract that violates public policy or implicates criminal culpability. It preserves a child’s rights if their parents divorce. That means a prenup can’t include any provisions that limit the amount of child support either parent can receive from the other to cover a child’s basic needs.
You can determine whether one of you will receive spousal maintenance from the other while drafting your prenuptial agreement. The court will decide during divorce proceedings if you can’t agree to an amount and schedule for the payments.
Can My Partner and I Make Mutually Agreed-Upon Changes to Our Agreement After Our Marriage if We Believe We Need to?
Yes. However, modifications must meet the requirements under Texas Family Code § 4.005. You can amend or revoke a premarital agreement if both parties agree and sign a new written contract.
Contact Our Austin Marital Agreement Attorneys Today to Learn More
Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., are here to protect your rights and interests while drafting or modifying a prenup or postnup agreement. Meet with one of our Austin marital agreement attorneys by contacting us for a confidential consultation.