Pre- and Post- Marital Agreements
Often the best way to avoid the trials and tribulations of a prolonged legal battle during a divorce, is the use of a contract limiting the scope of any divorce dispute. Texas law provides specific resolution, rights and protections for the parties to a marriage, but any party may modify or waive their rights and to those protections under the terms of a contract. These contracts are often called Pre-Marital (Pre-Nuptial) or Post-Marital Agreements.
A Pre-Marital Agreement is a contract entered into before the marriage by a man and woman who are planning to be married in the near future. The parties can agree on a wide range of issues, including whether or not to share certain assets and/or future income. Both the man and the woman should be represented by an attorney, so that they are both fully informed of the potential benefits and potential detrimental effects of the agreement. Pre-Marital Agreements are not just for those with a tremendous amount of money or property; anyone can use a Pre-Marital Agreement to protect any property, income, or interest that they have or may have an interest in at some point in the future. Often, a Pre-Marital Agreement provides for certain disbursements of property throughout the marriage, but the primary benefit of such an agreement is the protection it provides both parties in the event of divorce.
A Post-Marital Agreement is a contract initiated after a man and woman have already entered into a marriage relationship. The contract can be used for a variety of purposes, including to protect particular assets from division in a divorce, to allocate liabilities in a manner different from that allowed by Texas law, to amend or alter a Pre-Marital Agreement, or to create a division of the community estate as of that moment in time and provide for the division of any future assets or income after the entry of the contract. Post-Marital Agreements are often used by couples who are already having problems and desire to separate, but do not want the law to continue to consider all assets acquired during their time apart as marital assets.
Regardless of whether the agreement is before or during the marriage, emotions run high in the negotiations for these agreements. At Quaid & Quaid, LLC, we understand the feelings present in this negotiation process, and work with our clients and opposing counsel to draft agreements that resolve the issues while limiting the damage to the underlying relationship. We have found that collaborative law can be an invaluable tool in protecting the frayed emotions drafting these agreements can often cause, and allowing the parties to move forward with their life plans without issues in the future.