My fiancee, who is self-employed, owns a business. I have secure assets and income for retirement and can provide for both of us after my fiancee retires from her business. If my fiancee later has legal issues such as a bankruptcy or lawsuit judgments related to her business, can judgment creditors or other claimants come after my assets after we marry each other?
In order to best protect your assets from the claims of your future spouse's creditors (past, present, and future), you might want to consider “opting out” of the Texas marital (community) property system. Using a prenuptial agreement to keep your assets (and liabilities) separate from your future spouse's assets and liabilities is a fairly straight-forward process.
You will, however, need the assistance of an attorney who handles family (marital property) law matters, and who also handles business law, creditor-debtor, and asset protection legal matters, as your situation touches upon all of those legal areas.
Lastly, you will want to take care of this matter sooner rather than later, for several reasons. First, martial property agreements done before marriage are less complicated, easier to negotiate, and (most importantly) less susceptible to later judicial invalidation, as compared to agreements that are entered into during marriage. Second -- and this is a big issue -- you will want a marital property agreement to be in place and effective long before any possible legal troubles arise.
Asset protection planning (including marital property agreements) that is done after legal trouble strikes is likely to be invalidated by a court, on the ground that it is nothing more than an attempt to defraud creditors, rather than being legitimate and lawful planning.
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Lapin Law Offices, P.C.
5001 Spring Valley Road, Suite 400 East
Post Office Box 802401
Dallas, Texas 75380
Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is provided by Lapin Law Offices, P.C., for informational purposes only and, shall not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. The laws and interpretation of laws discussed herein may not accurately reflect the law in the reader’s jurisdiction. Do not rely on the information contained in this publication for any purpose. If you have a specific legal question, please consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction who is competent to assist you.