Creating Marital Agreements To Fit Your Needs

Prenuptial agreements — sometimes called "prenups" or premarital agreements — refer to agreements signed by couples before they marry.

Postmarital agreements and marital agreements are terms used interchangeably, which generally refer to agreements made between spouses during marriage.

Cohabitation agreements are similar in content to marital agreements, but are signed by couples not in conjunction with an upcoming marriage.

Planning For The Future · Accounting In Advance For The Unexpected

Both prenuptial and postmarital agreements are used much more frequently today than they were just 20 or 30 years ago. No longer is there a stigma attached to either agreement, as more couples recognize the value of planning for the future and for the unexpected.

At Palmer & Manuel PLLC, our attorneys work closely with clients to develop prenuptial and postmarital agreements that meet their unique needs.

Why Enter A Prenuptial Or Postmarital Agreement?

Couples choose to create prenuptial and postmarital agreements for various reasons. The following are a few scenarios and objectives that can be effectively addressed with a premarital or postmarital agreement:

  • Second marriages: Common in marriages in which one spouse comes into the relationship with children and substantial assets and wants to be able to control what part of the estate goes to the natural children and what part goes to the new spouse.
  • Parties focused on asset protection: Prenuptial agreements are commonly used as a means to protect the assets an individual has acquired before marriage from marital creditors.
  • Financial independence within the marriage: Some couples choose premarital and postmarital agreements to document their preferences for maintaining financial independence. For example, when both spouses earn a sizeable income or significant assets, a prenuptial agreement can protect each spouse from becoming involved in the other's financial matters.
  • Risky business ventures: A postnuptial agreement can be particularly useful when one spouse takes on a high-risk business venture, and the other spouse wants to disassociate himself or herself from financial responsibility for its success or failure during the marriage or if the marriage ends.
  • Changing the character of assets: A partition with exchange agreements might be utilized to protect assets from creditors, including taxing authorities or to equalize certain assets between spouses.

Timing Is Critical: Contact Our Dallas Firm Today

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, it is important to start the process well in advance of the wedding. It is very difficult to structure and finalize an agreement less than 30 days before a wedding, so we recommend consulting with an attorney as early as possible.

Cohabitation agreements — A cohabitation agreement is a similar agreement between two individuals who cannot marry or choose not to marry. Similar to a prenuptial agreement, cohabitation agreements are typically restricted to the division of property if the parties go their separate ways. Some couples specify in their document that their relationship does not constitute a common law marriage.

Partition And Exchange Agreements

We understand the importance of helping clients protect their assets before, during and after marriage. Our attorneys work closely with clients to create prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements tailored to their unique needs. To set a time to meet with one of our family lawyers, reach us online or call 214-242-6444.