Taking the Right Steps to Protect the Assets You Bring into a Marriage

Contemplating marriage and thinking about asking your future spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement? Already married but have substantial asset that you brought into the marriage and want to protect with a postnuptial agreement. How do prenuptial and postnuptial agreements work? What kinds of issues do they typically address? Are there issues that generally cannot be handled in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?

How Common Are Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?

A recent Harris Poll found that the number of American couples using a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement has increased fivefold in the last 15 years, from just 3% in 2010 to more than 15% in 2022.

Is There Any Meaningful Difference between a Prenuptial Agreement and a Post-Nuptial Agreement?

The most obvious distinction between a prenuptial and a postnuptial agreement is when they are signed. The parties enter into a prenup before marriage, with the agreement going into effect when the marriage becomes legal. With a postnuptial agreement, the parties enter into the agreement after marriage and it goes into effect immediately. The difference in the timing can pose potential problems with enforceability. That’s because a contract will only be binding if there’s “consideration,” a legal term that means that both parties gave something in exchange for the agreement. With a prenuptial agreement, the agreement by both to enter into the marriage is enough. With a postnuptial agreement, there must be some other type of exchange.

What Does a Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreement Typically Cover?

The provisions of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement generally focus on financial considerations, including:

  • Protection of separate property brought into the marriage
  • Protections against liability for the other spouse’s debts or obligations
  • Protections to keep certain property in the family, such as heirlooms, businesses, gifts or inheritances
  • Protections to allow you to meet the needs of children from a prior relationship
  • Assurances that your estate plan will be honored

Are There Issues that Cannot Be Determined by a Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreement?

As a general rule, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement cannot contain provisions that:

  • Are in violation of any state or federal law
  • Waive any parental rights
  • Limit child support obligations or affect child custody
  • Waive the right to spousal support

Let DTX Family Law Help You Craft an Effective Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement

At DTX Family Law, we always put your interests first. We know that the legal process can be complex and confusing, and we’ll carefully explain your rights and options, as well as your chances of success, so that you can make good decisions for you and your family. Chrysandra is board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, an honor earned by less than one of every ten family law attorneys in the state. To schedule an appointment with a proven and effective Texas family lawyer, visit our new website or call our offices at 940-566-0606.


Handling Divorce and Family Law Matters throughout Denton and the surrounding communities, including Denton, Collin, Wise, Tarrant and Cooke counties