Regardless of the situation, entering a divorce is stressful for everyone involved. Whether it’s the wife who initiated it or the husband, it takes a whole lot of time and energy from both parties to go through the process, especially when one or both of the spouses have a significant number of assets. For wealth that they either possess or inherit, entering a divorce could mean losing everything if you aren’t careful. Add kids into the mix and things get even more complicated.

In other words, if you’re entering a marriage and have assets you want to be protected (or if you’d rather just be safer than sorry) writing up a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea for you.

While the family lawyers at Thiessen Law Firm do not put together prenups or postnups, we do handle divorces and see how these agreements can help ease the tension of divorce. That’s why we’ve created this quick guide to the difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is an arrangement made by a couple before they get married, which details the ownership of their respective assets should their marriage unexpectedly fail (due to death or divorce).

What is included in a prenuptial agreement?

It’s important to know the dos and don’ts of a prenuptial agreement in Texas. Prenups can include anything from common assets like furniture and vehicles to larger assets, such as estates and other properties. This is especially helpful if one of the parties has an heir for whom they want to leave their property should they pass away unexpectedly. If this type of detail is left out of the agreement, the court will ultimately decide what assets go to which family member so that all family members will benefit equally.

Aside from protecting the children in the event of an unexpected death, prenups can also protect the other spouse in the same situation. Most people don’t think of prenuptial agreements in this manner but the fact is, if you detail the ownership of certain loaned items, a prenup can prevent creditors from going after your spouse once you have passed on.

Other common items that are included in prenuptial agreements include: retirement benefits, management of joint bank accounts and household bills, tax deductions, investments and a number of other items that could potentially help outline and distribute the assets and finances from a marriage.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement but drafted after the marriage has been legally established. Postnuptial agreements are almost identical to prenuptial agreements, except for one detail: once your marriage becomes official, many of your assets become marital property. In other words, you’ll have to negotiate who gets what and detail that in the postnuptial agreement.

The couples who most commonly get postnuptial agreements are those who did not put much thought into a prenuptial agreement or those who simply ran out of time before the wedding. In this case, postnups are usually painless because both spouses see the agreement as being mutual and equally desired.

Similarly, but less romantically, postnups are commonly written for couples whose marriages are struggling or where one of the spouses has inherited a large estate or a large amount of money after getting married. Whatever the reason may be, postnuptial agreements do have their purpose and many couples find this helpful for their specific marital situation.

What type of lawyer does a prenuptial agreement and postnuptial agreement?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Texas are drafted by Texas Family Law Attorneys.  While we at Thiessen Law Firm do not draft prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, Taly Thiessen, our lead Houston Divorce Attorney, is a skilled lawyer who can help you through your divorce with or without an agreement.

Whatever your situation may be, Taly will make sure your assets are protected and distributed fairly in the event of an unexpected death or divorce.

Contact us directly at (713) 864-9000 to request a consultation today!

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