When a couple is preparing to marry, they may enter into a marital agreement relating to their respective property, liabilities, or other rights. A couple typically signs a prenuptial agreement before they wed, and they sign a postnuptial agreement after the wedding.
The right of people to enter into agreements with their spouses relating to their property is established under Section 15 of Article XVI of the Constitution of the State of Texas. The Texas Family Code also establishes several provisions relating to premarital (prenuptial) and marital property (postnuptial) agreements.
Lawyer for Marital Agreements in Houston, TX
If you are considering entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Southeast Texas, it is in your best interest to make sure that you have legal representation. Sydow Law Firm represents clients in Houston and several other surrounding areas of Fort Bend County and Harris County.
Michael Sydow is an experienced attorney in Houston and a Fellow for both the Texas Bar Foundation and the Houston Bar Foundation. He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (713) 622-9700 to receive a free initial consultation.
Harris County Marital Agreements Information Center
- What is the difference between a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement?
- What is a partition and exchange agreement?
- Where can I learn more about agreements in Houston?
Prenuptial Agreements vs. Postnuptial Agreements in Texas
A prenuptial agreement is referred to in the Texas Family Code as a premarital agreement. Texas Family Code § 4.001(1) defines a prenuptial agreement as “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage.”
Under Texas Family Code § 4.003, the parties to a premarital agreement can contract with respect to all of the following:
- the rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;
- the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
- the disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
- the modification or elimination of spousal support;
- the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
- the ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
- the choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
- any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
Postnuptial agreements, or marital property agreements, generally cover many of the same issues that relate to prenuptial agreements. In a marital property agreement, however, the parties may be exchanging or transferring items that would be classified as community property.
Partition and Exchange Agreements in Harris County
One common kind of postnuptial agreement spouses may enter relating to property transfers is a partition and exchange agreement. Texas Family Code § 4.012 establishes that spouses can at any time partition or exchange between themselves all or part of their community property.
Community property or a property interest transferred to a spouse by a partition and exchange agreement becomes that spouse’s separate property. A partition and exchange agreement can also provide that future earnings and income arising from transferred property be separate property of the owning spouse.
Under Texas Family Code § 4.013, spouses can also agree that income or property arising from separate property that is owned or can be acquired by one of them is the separate property of the owner.
Texas Marital Agreements Resources
Uniform Premarital Agreement Act — The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (also known as the UPAA) is a Uniform Act governing prenuptial agreements that has been adopted by 27 states. View the full text of the Texas Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. You can also find statutes relating to partition or exchange agreements.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements | American Bar Association (ABA) — View the full text of an ABA newsletter article discussing the difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. You can find lists of things that should be considered in regards to both kinds of agreements. The article notes that both sides should have any agreements reviewed by respective lawyers, as many agreements are “disputed on the grounds that one party did not receive proper representation.”
Find a Marital Agreements Attorney in Houston, TX
Are you considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Southeast Texas? You will want to contact Sydow Law Firm for help ensuring that all of your interests are protected.
Experienced Houston attorney Michael Sydow represents individuals in communities all over Harris County and Fort Bend County.
Call (713) 622-9700 or complete an online contact form to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation.