A premarital or postmarital agreement is a powerful legal document that can protect spouses in the event of divorce. Although nobody enters into a marriage expecting to divorce, the reality is that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.
To learn more about premarital or postmarital agreements (also known as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements), contact Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices. Dallas attorney Paula Lock Smyth can explain how you can be protected if your marriage ends in divorce. Call 214-646-1485.
Why a Prenuptial / Postnuptial Agreement is Important
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements were once thought of as controversial. Today, however, more and more couples are realizing the importance of protecting their separate interests in the event of divorce.
A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can address any number of topics, including:
- Property division — Any property owned before the date of marriage remains separate property. However, if this property earns income or interest during the marriage (in investments or retirement accounts, etc.), the property may be classified as community property, which is then subject to division.
- Spousal support / alimony — A premarital or postmarital agreement can address what, if any money will be paid to one spouse from another in the form of alimony.
- Stepparent responsibilities — The responsibilities of a stepparent can be addressed in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This is especially important in the event of a biological parent's death.
When Should a Premarital Agreement be Drafted?
If you are getting a prenuptial agreement, do not wait until the last minute. If you wait too long and force the idea on your future spouse, he or she could later claim fraud and duress, which could invalidate the agreement. We recommend planning a premarital agreement at a minimum two months before the date of marriage.
Postmarital Agreement in Lieu of Divorce
Some couples choose to enter into a postmarital (postnuptial) agreement instead of getting a divorce. A postnuptial agreement can address the topics of property division, spousal support, ownership of real estate, and inheritance rights, etc.