Matrimonial Agreement Lawyers
Skilled Representation from Our Highly Rated Louisiana Firm
Getting married should be a joyous and celebratory time. One of the most caring things you can do for your partner is make sure you have appropriate documents in place prior to your union, which will protect you and your spouse in the future. The lawyers at SVHC, can educate you on your various options regarding matrimonial agreements without removing the romance from your marriage, whether you are soon-to-be married or are married already. Our goal is to assist you in achieving solutions that may benefit your relationship in the long term.
The New Orleans family attorneys at SVHC assist the following people in Louisiana:
- Those who are preparing for their marriage
- Those who have married in another state of residence and subsequently moved to Louisiana
- Those who have already married in Louisiana, but their circumstances have changed, and they need to explore the specific protections afforded by a matrimonial agreement
I’m Never Getting Divorced. Why Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
Many people think of a matrimonial or prenuptial agreement and say, “I don’t need one of those because I’m never getting a divorce.” What many people in Louisiana don’t realize is that a matrimonial agreement can be very different from what you see on TV or read about in the news and is generally crafted to explain to third parties how the property you acquire during your marriage will be handled in a variety of situations, not just during a divorce.
Louisiana is a community property state. By default, when you marry in Louisiana, you adopt the “community property regime,” which provides default rules of ownership and management of marital property, as it relates to each other, as well as third parties. People who reside in another state and later move to Louisiana also become subject to this regime.
A common option for many couples is to create a matrimonial agreement in order to “opt out” of the community property regime before marriage, modify the legal regime before or after marriage, or even terminate the legal regime after marriage. The result of doing so is generally that the rules can be changed, allowing spouses to keep separate property while married.
Several scenarios where couples may consider matrimonial agreements include:
- One spouse has credit issues or has filed a prior bankruptcy, and does not want the other spouse to be affected by third party creditors seizing community assets or income or be unable to qualify for new credit or home loans
- One spouse has a child from a prior relationship and fears their new spouse’s income will affect their child support obligation
- The couple was married and resided previously in a non-community property state and does not want to subject themselves to the legal regime after moving to Louisiana
- The spouses wish to generally keep their earnings separate and will add both names to property or debt if they wish to co-own it
This “opt out” provision is seen by many couples not as a way to prevent the other from “getting their stuff,” but rather, to protect and defend their spouse from third-party creditors for any liabilities they might incur. Moreover, having a matrimonial agreement does not prevent a couple from holding property together. Generally, if you want to own something together, you put both your names on it and hold it as co-owners.