Prenuptual and Postnuputal Agreements
Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements
Marriage itself is a contract, but sometimes additional legal agreements are necessary.
Many people marry for love, but some marry in hopes of gaining money. Prenuptial agreements or “prenups” are very common among successful people. Even celebrities who have similar levels of fame and fortune have signed prenups when marrying each other
A prenuptial agreement is signed before two people marry, but a postnuptial agreement is signed after marriage.
In Texas, a prenuptial agreement only deals with what someone brings into a marriage. For example, a house, a business, investments, and bank accounts. Any money earned or property bought during the marriage is considered community property. Therefore, each spouse gets half of its value if they divorce — unless they renegotiate those terms through a postnuptial agreement.
A postnuptial agreement can be more complicated because community property already exists. If one spouse withholds money to force the other spouse to sign a postnuptial agreement, then the agreement can be declared invalid.
While Texas Family Code 4.102 allows spouses to renegotiate the standard 50/50 community property rule, the judge handling the request will consider whether coercion is being used. As a result, this is one of many areas of family law where the assistance of an experienced attorney is essential.
What Is Covered in Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?
Again, while it is usually better to get a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can still be a great idea and is essential if you want to renegotiate the division of money and property gained during your marriage.
While alimony payments can usually be covered in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, child support cannot. A separate court proceeding is still necessary.
Debt is another area that couples may wish to negotiate before or during their marriage. Pre-existing individual debts and marital debts can be covered in a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement.