Galveston Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
Galveston Pre- and Post-Marital Agreement Attorney — Galveston & League City, Texas
Nobody wants a marriage to end in failure. But we all know the reality: as many as half of all U.S. marriages ultimately end in divorce. Given the inherent complexity of unwinding a couple’s finances and property, it is often a prudent move to sign a prenuptial or post-marital agreement.
Such agreements are not “planning for failure” so much as avoiding the need for potentially extended and costly litigation should the marriage end. A well-drafted pre- or post-marital agreement should give both spouses piece of mind that if life takes an unexpected turn, they will not squander their assets battling each other in divorce court. At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our experienced Galveston County family law attorneys can help you draft and review an agreement that best fits your situation.
What a Pre- or Post-Marital Agreement Can (and Cannot) Do for You
Pre- and post-marital agreements are legal and enforceable in Texas. Chapter 4 of the Family Code spells out the requirements for such agreements.
Premarital agreements are obviously made in “contemplation of marriage” and only take effect if the parties actually marry. The agreement must be in writing and signed by both spouses–Texas courts will not enforce an oral agreement. The actual terms of the agreement are largely up to the spouses, except that a premarital agreement cannot be used to determine child support. But here are some of the other issues that may be addressed by an agreement:
- Each spouse’s interest or rights in property owned by the other spouse;
- The disposition of property upon divorce or the death of either spouse;
- Whether or not one spouse will pay spousal support (maintenance) to the other in the event of separation or divorce; an
- Whether either spouse must modify their will, living trust, or other estate planning document to carry out the terms of the premarital agreement.
After the parties marry, they can agree to revoke a modify a pre-marital agreement by executing a new written agreement. Texas law also permits already married spouses to sign a “marital property agreement,” which addresses the “partition or exchange” of property acquired during the marriage, i.e. “community property.”
Get Independent Advice Before Signing a Marital Agreement
Any pre- or post-marital agreement assumes that both spouses have made a “fair and reasonable disclosure” of their respective property. In other words, if one spouse is hiding assets, that can invalidate an agreement. Similarly, a court will decline to enforce an agreement if it is “unconscionable” or there is evidence that one spouse did not sign it “voluntarily.”
It is also a good idea for both spouses to be separately represented by a qualified Galveston pre- and post-marital agreements attorney. Having separate representation will give the final agreement more legitimacy in the eyes of the court. If you are contemplating a pre- or post-marital agreement and need independent legal advice, contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today at (281) 962-7817.