Pre- and Post-Marital Agreements: Common Misconceptions

For most people, signing any legal contract is can be frightening. It seems almost impossible to understand the tightly-packed pages of legal jargon; having some fear is logical and reasonable. Facing that document shortly before getting married — or any time thereafter —can ruin the magic behind a relationship that is all about based on love and commitment.

Each Dallas family lawyer at GoransonBain Ausley has heard just about every argument against entering into a pre- or post-marital agreement. However, these useful contracts can actually protect and can strengthen marital relationships.

Debunking Common Myths

Businesses enter into contractual agreements to specify the details of their relationships. Marriages involve just as much complexity, considering that two people form a long-term partnership that can involve anything from high-value purchases to children. Pre- or post-marital agreements simply iron out the most important details, so it is important to understand the truth behind myths such as the following:

  • They amount to contracts for divorce: Actually, they are more of a contract for a life together. While the parties can include divorce-related conditions in their agreements, it is just as important to address issues that can arise within the marriage, such as how both spouses acquire and sell property, or concerns related to children from prior marriages.
  • They display a lack of trust: There is a difference between trust and understanding. Even when spouses completely trust each other, they probably have different opinions about certain details of what their life together will encompass. Pre- and post-marital agreements help uncover these differences in advance, so they can move forward in their relationship with true trust and understanding. 
  • Only rich people need them: First, these agreements are not all about money; they can relate to any aspect of marriage. Second, wealth can increase during a marriage. Keep in mind that any couple can begin the marriage with no agreement, but choose to create one when circumstances change over the years.
  • They are unfair to one of the spouses: This is generally not typically the intent behind a pre- or post-marital agreement. However, it is important that each party retain his or her own family law attorney dedicated to protecting that party’s interests in the agreement.
  • They must cover all terms of divorce: The Texas Uniform Premarital Agreement Act itemizes a full list of terms that can be included in an agreement. The parties can choose just the terms that make sense for their unique situation.

With Proper Planning, a Pre- or Post-Marital Agreement Can Strengthen Relationships

Even couples who see the need for pre- or post-marital agreements are unlikely to understand often them. An experienced Texas family lawyer is well-versed in state statutes and knows how to help clients develop the details behind their financial and personal goals. Contact GoransonBain Ausley to learn if pre- or post-marital agreement is right for you and discuss how to plan for it.

This post was written by Tracey Gajak.

Tracey E. Gajak

“If you only have a hammer, every problem you approach looks like a nail. With my years of experience in family law, combined with a strong background in civil litigation and appellate work, I have a wide range of solutions in my toolbox for my clients. ”

— Tracey E. Gajak