Texas court divides marital agreements into three types. All three of these agreements are used to characterize each spouse’s property as either separate or community (joint). Generally, they must all be in writing and signed by both spouses. Here are those three types of marital agreements their uses.
Types of Marital Agreements in Texas
- Conversion agreements – If spouses wish to convert separate property into community property, they must sign a conversion agreement. Property such as a house owned prior to marriage, for example, is not automatically community property. Without a conversion agreement, the house would remain separate property. Although, the other spouse may have a right of reimbursement to the community estate for any improvements or appreciation. Couples commonly use these to convert property owed before marriage by one spouse, such as a car, into community property.
- Partition agreements – If spouses wish to split community property unequally, they can sign a partition agreement. This agreement separates the two estates by way of having each spouse identify assets and debts that each will receive. Reasons for signing one often include worries about the financial future with one’s spouse, such as protection from their business ventures or spending habits.
- Community Property Survivorship Agreements – When both spouses sign this agreement, they agree that all or part of their jointly owned property becomes the property of the surviving spouse on the death of the first spouse. For this agreement to be valid, it must contain words to the effect of “with right of survivorship.” Joint survivorship has the benefit of keeping the property out of the probate estate after one spouse passes away.
Married couples in Texas can make any or all of three different kinds of agreements regarding ownership of their property. If you’re considering a marital agreement, contact your local family lawyer.
Julian, Crowder and Shuster is a firm of Lewisville divorce lawyers with the expertise to help their clients navigate through the difficulties of divorce.