Robert S. Hoffman
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Family Law Texas Board of
Legal Specialization
Fellow —
American Academy of
Matrimonial Lawyers

Associate Attorneys
Miryam R. Mitchell
Jennie R. Smith
Audra M. Clark
May Crockett

Annette Lewis
Natalie Roberts
Dawn Allred

Premarital and Postmarital Agreements

Agreements between persons about to marry or spouses have become more common and can occur in numerous situations. Persons about to marry may desire a premarital agreement where one or both parties have been previously married and/or have sizeable estates which they are bringing into the marriage and desire to avoid a protracted or contentious property fight in the event of divorce. Oftentimes in the case of a closely-held business or family limited partnership, one person’s family will require the person with a current or future interest in the business to obtain a premarital agreement before marrying to protect the other family members. Premarital agreements are also common when one or both parties have children from a prior relationship and planning is needed to coordinate the preservation and distribution of property between the new spouse and the children in the event of divorce or death.

Spouses may also desire a post-marital agreement in the context of their overall estate planning. Frequently after the passage of time a premarital agreement no longer fits the needs of the parties, and an amended premarital agreement or post-marital agreement is needed to reflect the parties’ current desires. Also a post-marital agreement may be appropriate for parties who do not have a present intention to divorce but who desire to fix their property rights and obtain the certainty of how their property would be divided in the event of divorce.

With substantial and extensive experience negotiating and drafting premarital and post-marital agreements involving estates valued from several hundred thousand dollars to those in excess of a billion dollars, we are well prepared to tailor an agreement that suits your individual needs.

The following is a partial list of topics to consider and discuss in the context either of a premarital or post-marital agreement:

  1. Selection of counsel;
  2. Strategy for initiating discussion of topic and reaching agreements on major deal points;
  3. Defining the purpose and scope of the agreement;
  4. Financial disclosure;
  5. Identification and preservation of separate property;
  6. Extent to which community property estate is created or built;
  7. Management rights with respect to property;
  8. Treatment of interest and dividends generated by separate property;
  9. Handling investments and growth;
  10. Consideration for issues pertaining to entities such as corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships;
  11. Issues pertaining to professional practices;
  12. Valuation considerations;
  13. Issues pertaining to the marital residence and subsequently acquired real estate;
  14. Credit transactions;
  15. Treatment of personal service income;
  16. Divorce considerations;
  17. Considerations related to the death of either party and coordination with estate planning;
  18. Discussion of gifts and converting community property to separate property;
  19. Confidentiality issues;
  20. Issues surrounding the scheduling of assets;
  21. Tax considerations;
  22. Choice of law issues;
  23. How to address and handle the emotional and psychological issues which often surface during negotiations;
  24. Liability and indemnification issues;
  25. Life insurance;
  26. Handling the input and opinions of other family members;
  27. Dispute resolution mechanisms;
  28. Steps to enhance the enforceability of the agreement; and
  29. Issues pertaining to the signing ceremony.

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