Prenup Lawyer in Austin
Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer in Austin
Engage and Protect Your Future
As a happy couple planning a wedding, you will likely spend significant time looking at beautiful venues, choosing the perfect menu, and even identifying the best place to honeymoon – all romantic and exciting activities. In addition to these, engaged couples should also consider entering into a prenuptial (prenup) agreement.
While certainly less romantic, this may be one of the best things you can do for your future. It relies on honest communication and legally lays out your marriage’s financial plan. These documents are created prior to marriage and become enforceable and effective once the marriage takes place.
Planning for the future is one of the most important things any couple can do. Doing so can give both spouses a clear picture of their future together and prepare a couple for obstacles that life will present.
A prenuptial agreement is more than a contingency plan should things not work out between two people; it is a tool that can provide a significant benefit to marriage by eliminating many common concerns over finances. These contracts can show that you take the well-being of your spouse seriously and that you are committed to the security of your partner.
The family law attorneys at the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm can make sure that your best interests are being represented so that you and your spouse can have one less thing to worry about. Reach out to them today at (512) 732-2727 to schedule a consultation.
Prenuptial Agreements – An Overview
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Around in some form or another for thousands of years, a prenup is a written contract that establishes the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. It typically lists all the property each person owns and any debts owed and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage. Texas Family Code Section 4.003 details what can be included.
These documents protect your rights in case you and your spouse separate. While it may seem odd to be preparing for a divorce before you are even married, it’s not. In fact, it is incredibly wise. Making these decisions with a clear head and no animosity should relieve you of worry now and alleviate added stress should you eventually go your separate ways.
Issues Your Prenuptial Agreement Can Address
Prenuptial agreements are not cookie-cutter documents, and your attorney does not print out a form and fill in blanks. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. The prenuptial attorneys at Evans & Herlihy will work closely with you to ensure your agreement is tailored to your specific situation.
Areas of concern that these documents can manage include a host of things like premarital assets including cash, stocks, real estate, and family heirlooms); ownership of any businesses; life insurance; and even debts. The document identifies the difference between marital and separate property and can even plan for spousal support. Finally, If you have children from previous marriages, prenups can protect their inheritance.
Your Evans & Herlihy Austin prenup attorney will work with you to draft a document that best protects your interests, your future, and your livelihood.
Commonly Used Terms in a Prenuptial Agreement
Understanding the relevant prenup legal terms is an important part of the agreement process. You need to know exactly what things mean in order to plan appropriately. Below we have shared a few of the terms you are likely to see:
- Separate property. Any assets or liabilities you bring into the marriage (not what you acquire during the marriage).
- Marital property. Typically, property acquired during a marriage is considered marital property, whether or not the property is titled in just one spouse’s name.
- Spousal support or maintenance. Also known as alimony, spousal maintenance is the term for when one spouse gives financial support to the other spouse after a divorce.
- Sunset clause. A paragraph that lays out when the prenup or post-marital agreement will no longer be valid. It can also define how much a spouse will receive based on how many years they’ve been married.
Of course, this list is just a small sample of what you can expect. Your family law attorney will explain all terms related to your specific situation as you work through the process of creating your prenuptial agreement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Evans & Herlihy Austin Prenup Attorney Addresses Your Concerns
Beginning a new chapter of your life is exciting – the future is bright! You have so much to look forward to.
You can focus on your wedding, honeymoon, and life.
That said, any time you are entering into a legal agreement, it is likely that you will have questions. Because prenups can impact your future, it is important that you get answers to all of your concerns.
It makes perfect sense that each prenup is unique; no two couples are identical – your families, financial positions, and careers are specific to you. Consequently, many of your questions can only be answered once your attorney understands your situation. However, several frequently asked questions are more general in nature. Below we have shared those that we hear most often, along with our responses.
Working with an experienced family law attorney when drafting a prenuptial agreement is wise. You want to ensure that your document is drafted correctly, protects your future and is legally enforceable.
It is in your best interests to use two separate attorneys for this process. Each of you should have your own representation, an independent professional who is looking out for your personal best interests.
Ideally, you will draft and sign (it needs to be in writing) your prenup well in advance of your marriage. You want to have the opportunity to carefully consider your situation while drafting it and don’t want to feel rushed. Additionally, the document needs to be signed prior to marriage but does not become effective until you are actually married. If you call off your engagement, the agreement is not enforceable.
You should be aware that Texas is a community property state. According to the Texas Family Code (Section § 3.003), “Property possessed by either spouse during or on dissolution of marriage is presumed to be community property.” Having a legally viable prenuptial agreement allows you to determine how your property will be divided and provides you the opportunity to maintain ownership of property that was yours when you entered into your marriage.
The answer to this is two-fold. First, child support (and child custody for that matter) cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. These are issues that would be addressed if a separation were to occur and minor children were involved. Alimony, however, is another story. Also known as spousal support or maintenance, this can be included in a prenuptial agreement.
Can my partner and I make mutually agreed-upon changes to our agreement, after our marriage, if we believe we need to?
Yes, prenuptial agreements can be modified or canceled if both parties agree and the changes/cancellations are made in writing.
A postnuptial agreement, which is sometimes referred to as a post-marital agreement, is a legal document designed for couples who are already married or in a civil union. Many couples enter into postnuptial agreements to help resolve issues in their marriage by removing sources of disagreement over finances, children, and even chores. Other reasons for postnuptial agreements include a change in the financial status of either spouse after the wedding. This could include career changes, receiving an inheritance, or selling a business. For some couples, a postnuptial agreement can stop conflict and promote goodwill and harmony in their marriage.
We hope this information provides answers to some of your initial questions. Please contact the prenuptial attorney at Evans & Herlihy (512) 732-2727 for more information and to schedule a consultation regarding your specific situation.
Evans & Herlihy Can Help You Prepare For Your Married Future
How to Find a Good Lawyer for a Prenup
Choosing a family law attorney to work with you on your prenuptial agreement is an important step in protecting your future and preparing for married life. You want to ensure that the professional with whom you choose to work has an in-depth understanding of Texas family law, is experienced in drafting these vital documents, and is an active listener, a person who will take the entirety of your situation into account when working for you.
While the internet is an excellent place to start, nothing is more valuable than the combination of personal recommendations and interviews. Ask your family and friends for names of lawyers with whom they have worked and have had a positive experience, and then schedule a consultation with those professionals. You want to be confident in their approach and comfortable working with them.
Understanding the Process: Completing a Prenuptial Agreement Checklist
Once you have selected and engaged an attorney, you may be asked to complete a prenuptial checklist. This document provides you with details regarding what may be included in your agreement and can provide you and your partner with a common place to begin discussions.
Examples of information that may be requested on this checklist include:
- A listing of each of your individual assets and your debts
- A plan on how you would like to divide assets acquired once you are married
- How you plan to manage your finances (saving v. spending, etc.)
- Plans for alimony and any factors that would contribute toward it
- How you plan to file taxes
- Business ownership
- Estate planning (especially if there are children from prior relationships)
- Paying for education
- How financial gifts will be handled.
Of course, these are just general categories, your discussions with your future spouse and your attorney would delve much deeper and cover more specific details. Your attorney can provide you with their checklist and will use the information you provide to draft your agreement.
The Prenuptial Process
The actual procedure for getting a prenup seems relatively simple. Basically, you and your future spouse must agree upon going forward with the process and discuss general beliefs with each other.
Once you complete your checklist, one attorney will draft an agreement that will be submitted to the other party’s lawyer. You can go back and forth with changes until both of you are comfortable with the document. Once everything is agreed upon, you would both sign the document and keep an original copy. When you are legally married, the agreement goes into effect.
If you and your spouse did not draft a prenuptial agreement, you can still reap many of the same benefits of these agreements in the form of a postnuptial agreement, drafted after a couple is married or enters a civil union.
Additionally, if you need to amend your prenup, the changed or revised document is often referred to as a postnuptial agreement. Once again, you would want to engage the services of an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the process.
Contact the Experienced Prenup Lawyers at Evans & Herlihy Today
The family law attorneys at the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm are well-versed in the issues surrounding prenuptial agreements. We have years of experience assisting clients across Texas, helping them to meet all their legal needs.
Our team has a reputation for not only our knowledge but also our approach to service. We understand prenup conversations can be uncomfortable. After all, envisioning a less-than-happy outcome is not at the top of the list for couples planning to marry. However, we can work with you to make the process as smooth as possible while leveraging our experience to ensure your best interests will be accounted for should you and your partner separate.
We encourage you to reach out to our firm at (512) 732-2727 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options.