Legally, no. You are not able to sign a Pre-Nuptial Agreement after you have gotten married, but you are able to sign a Post-Marital Agreement that does roughly the same thing. Texas courts will accept a Post-Marital Agreement if the couple hires an attorney to draft it and a neutral third party to review it. A Post-Marital Agreement will cover most of the same issues as a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. The most common issues addressed in a Post-Marital Agreement are determining which spouse owns which assets, negotiating probate issues or other estate planning concerns, protecting one spouse from inherited debt, dividing assets during divorce, assigning roles to specific spouses in a family business, and establishing protections in case of a spouse’s death.
These agreements are really important because it allows the couple to properly label which property must be considered as separate property and which can be allowed to be considered community property. If you end up getting divorced, the court will decide which is separate property and which is community property and if the court decides something is community property, the court will be allowed to divide it up between you and your spouse in a manner they deem is “just and fair.” The agreement will also allow you to designate future assets as separate property even if the court would have decided it was community property. The Post-Marital Agreement is a powerful tool that allows you and your spouse to determine the outcome of any potential divorce that may happen.
Another important use for the Post-Marital Agreement is allocating past and potential future debt. If your spouse is thinking about going to graduate school some time during your marriage, the debt could be considered marital debt and the court might give half of that to you in the event of divorce. By creating provisions in an Agreement, you can have protection from that occurring. Contact us today to start the process of creating a Post-Marital Agreement!