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Prenuptial agreements may not limit creditors' actions

When a couple is getting married in Texas or elsewhere, often a prenuptial agreement may be a good idea to protect assets that one or both spouses have acquired before the marriage. It is used to provide for how certain property is going to be divided in the event of divorce or to make sure that children from a previous marriage are adequately taken care of financially. It is also often used to protect each party in the marriage against debts brought into the marriage by one spouse or another.

In one case, however, a woman who believed that she was fully protected in this manner both by a prenuptial agreement and by the terms of her divorce settlement found that at least one of her husband's creditors still came after her for his debts. What needs to be understood is that a prenuptial agreement is a contract between the parties and that third party creditors are not a party or bound by it.

One possibility is to pay the debt and then sue the ex-spouse for the money. The problem may often be avoided simply by not being on an account with a spouse for a debt during the marriage. If a one spouse serves as a co-signer for the other, however, the creditor will often regard it as the debt of both people and go after either or both of the ex-spouses to collect the debt despite the terms of a prenuptial agreement.

Despite this potential problem, prenuptial agreements are a highly effective and powerful tool to protect a person's assets and earnings in the event of a divorce.

If you are contemplating getting married, consider speaking with a Texas family law attorney. A detailed discussion with one of these professionals can help you understand how such prenuptial agreements work and what will and won't protect against in the future.

Source:  AZFamily.com, "Woman forced to pay ex-husband's debt" LlAna Gonzales, Jul. 30, 2013

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