Protecting Your Assets and Interests Before, During, and After Marriage with a Texas Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
Texas is a community property state. However, if you divorce, a family law judge will not automatically divide the assets 50/50. Texas law only requires the judge to divide the property in a manner that the judge deems “just and right” and permits broad discretion to the judge in deciding what is “just and right.”
If you and your spouse cannot agree, a Texas family court judge will have the final say about the division of marital assets. The family court judge will consider several factors when determining how the marital assets should be divided, including any differences in earning ability, the length of the marriage and the age of the spouses, educational levels of each spouse, and any health issues.
In Texas, fault can also play a part in marital property division. A spouse whose behavior caused or significantly contributed to the break-up of the marriage may be penalized during asset division.
Even if you were never formally married but have lived together for a number of years, Texas family law courts may recognize your relationship as a “common law marriage” and award your former partner half or more of your assets.
It is becoming increasingly common for Texas couples with significant assets to choose to protect themselves with a prenuptial or post-marital agreement, particularly people with established careers, those entering a second or subsequent marriage, those with children from previous relationships, family property or inheritances, or businesses they have established in common with their new spouse, or alone.
To learn more about prenuptial and post-marital agreements in Texas and whether you should consider one, contact Houston area family law attorney Brian McNamara at the McNamara Law Office in Kingwood, TX.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreements
For Texas couples, there are significant benefits to a prenuptial agreement:
- It provides a sense of security and peace of mind, particularly to those who may have had a prior divorce.
- It protects the integrity of a business from being affected should there be a divorce or death.
- It allows a person with children from a prior relationships to protect existing assets in the event of death or divorce.
- It allows a person with significant family property, such as a vacation home or an expected inheritance, to prevent that property from being viewed as a marital asset.
- It prevents children in blended families from fighting over family heirlooms.
The more assets you bring to a marriage, the more important it will be to work with an experienced family law attorney such as Brian McNamara. With many years of experience in Texas family law, divorce, and property division, he is prepared to help with the documentation to be as prepared as the law allows to ensure your wishes will be honored by a Texas family court.
Benefits of a Post-Marital (or Partition) Agreement
Texas law permits a married couple to divide their community estate into two separate estates. This is referred to a “partitioning” the community estate and is accomplished with a partition agreement. It has the same effect as a prenuptial agreement (a “prenup”).
There are many reasons that people choose to partition their estate. It can protect one spouse’s assets from the other’s debts. It can be a middle ground between divorce and choosing to work on a difficult marriage.
Call Attorney Brian McNamara to discuss whether a partition agreement might be appropriate for you. For more information consult www.TexasPrenup.com – online Texas Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements.