Financial Rights and Duties of Marriage

Live at Five’s Board Certified family law attorney, Sonya Coffman, answers questions submitted by Southeast Texas KFDM News viewers. What is a pre-nuptial agreement? Who needs a pre-nuptial agreement and what are the protections in a pre-nuptial agreement? Under what circumstances should someone consider a pre-nuptial agreement?


To the bride and groom marriage is a loving contract between two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together in the eyes of the law marriage is also a contract between two people not about love but about a variety of financial rights and obligations attorney sonya coffman joins us now to answer your questions putting family first here on live at five we're going to talk about pre-nuptial agreements and lots of people hate even bring that subject up you know when you're when you're getting married but who who needs a pre-nuptial agreement and you know what can they accomplish with that in general anybody that has separate property would be well served to get a pre-nuptial agreement signed before the wedding and what that can do for them defines the separate property that each party brings into the marriage and it divides the separate liabilities and that can save a whole lot of headache and expense down the road if in the event of divorce or death those things can be spelled out in advance so if you have separate property or assets she deftly thats something you need to talk about i think so but you're right it can be very touchy subject by what if we're going to stay together you need a pre-nuptial well who pays for the agreement i've had it done both ways sometimes the parties split the cost generally the party with the monies is the one who would pay for the agreement and also pay for the attorney to represent the non-money spouse so you need representation on both sides of that agreement well what is a separate asset is his one phrase and what is a marital asset and how how do you determine that as separate property asset is something that somebody brings into the marriage that that they have before they get married or something that a party acquires by gift or through inheritance so it's a good idea to keep those defined because separate property is something that's not divisible in divorce community property is something acquired during the marriage and that's something that the court would divide in the event of divorce and what can be agreed to in a pre-nup what kinds of things are in there lots of things but generally people want to talk about what happens to their separate property if it goes up in value does the community share in that increase or what happens to income from the separate property generally without a pre-nup that income would be community income money that's earned off the separate property but that's often what people want change with the prenuptial agreement is to keep the income from separate separate and there are other issues that people want to talk about such as whether there is going to be any community income created at all generally the earnings of the party during the marriage are community but with the pre-nup people can alter that can say that each parties earnings become their separate property i see so lots to discuss and hopefully it's something that doesn't come to pass but in in cases that it does i'm sure you've seen words made a tremendous difference it saves a lot of time and money and headache it really does in the end well sonya always nice to talk to you thank you so much for coming in we appreciate it and if you have a question about family law let attorney sonya coffman answer your questions you can fax us here at eight nine two seven three zero five or you can always email us at laf that stands for live at five at kfdm dot com