A prenuptial agreement works to protect an individual's assets before the marriage, but in some instances, a person may ask for a postnuptial agreement. Though this document is basically the same, it is drafted after the wedding. Both documents have the same goal of protecting an individual's assets.
Sadly, the divorce rate in America is at an all-time high and the average marriage lasts about 15 years. Though we would all like to think that our love and marriage will go on forever, in over half of all marriages, divorce seems a high probability. These facts make it more important than ever for an individual with considerable holdings, assets and wealth to get a prenuptial agreement before the marriage takes place.
Both the post nuptial and prenuptial agreements can address a number of very important areas. For instance, they can include a fidelity clause that stipulates that your spouse is disqualified from getting any of your assets if they cheat during the marriage. Without this, the Texas courts may award a cheating spouse up to half of everything you own.
Additionally, there are other significant issues that can be addressed in the post nuptial and prenuptial agreements. They can be used to eliminate all rights to property and other assets in the event of death and prevent a spouse from acting as executor of the estate.
Post-nuptial and prenuptial agreements are not airtight and can be challenged, so it's important for the wording to be exactly right. Both parties must agree to the terms of the agreement. In most cases, the signing of the legal documents is videotaped to provide an extra measure of security.
The documents must be executed in writing and full disclosure must be given to both parties at the time of signing. An agreement cannot be unconscionable and this describes terms that overwhelmingly favor one of the individuals.
Neither the prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement is allowed to address custody issues. These are most often decided by the Court at the time of the divorce and courts seek the best interests of the child (ren) at the time of the divorce.
When a document is properly drafted and executed, it can be upheld and enforced by the courts in virtually every state. In some instances, courts have refused to enforce certain provisions of the prenup and postnup, but they remain the best method of protecting assets.
Prenups and Postnups are very complex documents that may take months to draft, so it's important not to put this off till the last minute. Time and history have shown that the dynamics of any relationship can change very quickly.
As an experienced Houston attorney, Tom Burton often works with couples to help them draft a customized and thorough prenup or postnup document. He will sit down with a couple and help them work through the important issues, making sure to address anything that could arise later and become costly.
Tom Burton understands that wealthy couples face a number of different issues than other couples. With millions of dollars worth of assets such as jewelry, homes, businesses and autos to consider, it's so important to work with a professional family law attorney from Burton Law Firm. Call today to get more information about drafting a pre- or post-nuptial agreement.