What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
Under Texas law, a premarital agreement is an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage. TFC §4.001. Premarital agreements must be in writing and must be signed by both parties. Under Texas law, spouses can enter into marital agreements under the same terms of a premarital agreement. However, the primary purpose is now focused on re-characterizing property.
Do I Really Need a Postnuptial Agreement for My Pet?
Pets are an important member of families; not only are adults attached to their pets, but so are the children. So anytime a divorce happens in a pet family, emotions always run high. An agreement can assist by outlining arrangements in regard to pet ownership. Pets, believe it or not, are, according to the law, community property. And where in child custody cases the Judge determines the best interest of the child, in cases involving pet custody, the pet is strictly looked at as property.
Factors Involved in Judge’s Decision of Custody
First, the Judge will determine if the pet is separate or community property. If the Judge finds the pet is community property, these are a few things they will use to determine which spouse is better suited to take custody of the pet:
- Either party abused or neglected the pet
- Which spouse is available more to be with the pet?
- Are children involved? If so, are they close to the pet?
- Which spouse feeds and cares for the pet?
Benefits of Having a Postnuptial Agreement
Judges cannot award a visitation schedule for pets because, under the law, pets are property. If you are the party who does not get awarded the pet as a part of the community property estate, you will never have any interaction with your beloved pets again. However, the Judge can and will enforce any arrangement, such as a postnuptial agreement.
Postnuptial agreements can also assist you in avoiding costly, drawn-out legal battles. Because we become so attached to our pets, the thought of being separated from them can be the basis
Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC has had the privilege of drafting a postnuptial agreement involving family pets. The family loved their rescue dogs as if they were children. The agreement included provisions for food, veterinary care, travel, and visitation. The agreement provided piece of mind to a couple who always keeps their pets’ best interest at heart.
If you are married and own pets or are looking at adopting one in the future, a postnuptial agreement is in your best interest. The Courts will not look at the interest of the parties but will look at the animal as purely property. Take the action you need to protect your rights and come up with the best solution for everyone.