When you enter into a new relationship, you may start thinking about your future, whether that includes marriage or not. You’re envisioning many happy years together, perhaps starting a family, supporting each other in your respective careers and growing as a couple.
No matter what arrangement you and your partner decide on, you want to make sure you’re protected under any circumstances. You’re not predicting that something will go wrong, but at the same time, you feel the need to be prepared to ensure you, and possibly your children or future children, won’t get caught up in a messy situation you could have easily avoided with some legal help.
When planning for what’s ahead, you may consider prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, or cohabitation and no-nuptial agreements depending upon the nature of your relationship. Researching each one is important so you can decide which is the best for you as well as your partner.
You’re about to walk down the aisle, but first, you want to make sure that you and your spouse are clear on certain expectations and both feel comfortable with different financial responsibilities. Plus, if it ever comes down to it, you need to safeguard your personal assets so that your partner won’t have access to them in the event of a divorce.
A prenup agreement is a contract that you and your future spouse will produce together, with the help of a prenuptial agreement attorney, that designates what is one spouse’s property, and what is the property in the marriage. The prenup agreement becomes effective on the date of marriage. However, this contract is not just for the wealthy. No matter what your net worth is, it may be a good idea to have a Houston prenup lawyer draft an agreement for you and your future spouse.
Some of the reasons why a couple may want to enter into a premarital agreement include:
Each spouse’s financial responsibilities can be incorporated into the prenuptial agreement, too. You can include who is going to take care of your investments, bills, retirement accounts, properties, etc.
A prenuptial agreement is used to define the rights and obligations of couples who are about to marry. A premarital agreement can cover any matter that the parties agree upon. However, a prenup cannot (1) violate public policy, (2) violate the law, (3) adversely affect a child’s right to support, (4) defraud a creditor, or (5) cannot waive a spouse’s survivor benefits in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) retirement plan.
In order for a prenuptial agreement in Texas to be valid, it has to be legal in accordance with the Texas Family Code. If the document is deemed unconscionable – say, one partner didn’t reveal their full financial picture before it was signed, or one partner felt pressure to sign it – then it could be invalid.
Seek out the help of a Houston prenup attorney when creating your prenuptial agreement to ensure it’s actually legal; otherwise, you could end up not getting what you want if your relationship ends.
A postnuptial agreement in Texas is similar to a prenuptial agreement. It lays out the financial responsibilities in the marriage, which assets belong to each spouse, what would happen to assets and liabilities in the case of a divorce, etc. However, the main difference is that it’s signed after a couple gets married.
There are 2 types of postnuptial agreements: (1) partition/exchange agreements, and (2) conversion agreements. A partition/exchange agreement allows spouses to convert community property into separate property. A conversion agreement allows spouses to convert separate property into community property. Like prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements define each spouses’ responsibilities and duties.
A couple may want to create a postnuptial agreement if they are having financial issues in their marriage. A postnuptial agreement could help save the marriage since it will work out some details that the couple failed to think of prior to tying the knot.
For instance, maybe one spouse is always stuck taking care of the bills, which is time-consuming and stressful. They are getting into constant fights with their partner and want to find a permanent resolution. A postnuptial agreement would alleviate this issue and hopefully help the couple get to a good place again.
Having a postnuptial agreement attorney in Houston, TX help the couple create the document is incredibly important. It will also ensure that the postnuptial agreement is actually legal and can be enforced in a court of law if need be.
Many couples today are choosing not to get married because they don’t feel like it’s necessary. But, they want the legal protection should anything go wrong, just like a married couple would have. After all, they may have joint bank accounts, pay down shared debt, own a home together and take responsibility for covering the bills.
If these couples choose to do so, they can get a cohabitation agreement, also known as a no-nuptial agreement, in Texas. This is like a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in that it lays out the financial responsibilities of each person, protects each person’s assets and provides monetary security for the person with the lower income in the event that the relationship ends.
Again, couples should hire a cohabitation or no-nuptial agreement attorney to create this contract for them. Otherwise, one or both of the partners could lose out financially following the dissolution of the relationship.
If you’re in Texas and in a serious relationship – whether you’re engaged, married or living together – then you’ll need to find an attorney who can help you formulate your prenuptial, postnuptial or no-nuptial agreement. You need someone who will be there for you, making sure you understand and agree to the terms and are willing to sign the document. Your experienced attorney should be affable, approachable and able to explain any one of these agreements in the simplest terms possible before you put pen to paper.
Are you ready to prepare for the future? Then one of the experienced prenuptial, postnuptial and no-nuptial agreement attorneys at Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and figure out if one of these documents is right for your specific financial situation and relationship.
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