What Is the Difference Between Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?
Regardless of the situation, entering a divorce is stressful for everyone involved. Whether it’s the wife or the husband who initiated the divorce, 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. Entering a divorce could mean losing everything if you aren’t careful. Add kids into the mix and things get even more complicated.
If you’re entering a marriage and have assets you want protected (or if you’d rather just be safer than sorry), writing up a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea for you.
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 roughly similar to a prenuptial agreement. However, unlike a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial is drafted after the marriage has been legally established, at which point your property is considered marital property. For that reason, postnuptial agreements can also be more difficult to arrange. The court believes that after two individuals marry, they have a duty to take care of one another. It is, therefore, stricter with regard to what property can and can't be split.
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 (although the latter is technically already considered separate property). Whatever the reason may be, postnuptial agreements do have their purpose and many couples find them 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. At Thiessen Law Firm, Taly Thiessen is our lead Houston Divorce Attorney. She has successfully written numerous prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for families in all situations. Whatever your situation may be, Taly will walk you through the process and make sure your assets are protected and distributed fairly in the event of an unexpected death or divorce.
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