Prenuptial agreements are a wise move for all Texans
When a couple gets married, they vow to stay together “until death do us part.” However, we all know this isn’t always the case. Divorce is a fact of life in Texas and around the world. For that reason, many couples would be wise to consider drafting and executing a prenuptial agreement before they marry.
Of course, no one wants to think about the consequences of divorce at the same time that they are planning a wedding. However, prenuptial agreements can provide much-needed protection and peace of mind in the unlikely event that the marriage ends.
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between both spouses that governs what will happen to the couple’s property and assets during a divorce. It can be helpful both to protect assets that pre-existed the marriage and to minimize confusion during the divorce process.
Texas law allows couples to enter into prenuptial agreements so long as they are in writing, signed by both parties and entered into based on the agreement of both spouses. In addition, Texas prenuptial agreements cannot be “unconscionable,” nor can violate criminal laws. For example, a prenuptial agreement that was set up with the intent to defraud creditors or that adversely affected child support obligations would likely not be enforced after a divorce.
Because entering into a prenuptial agreement is such a sensitive issue, both parties would be wise to consult separate attorneys before singing one and being bound by its terms and conditions.
Who needs a prenuptial agreement?
Many people think that prenuptial agreements are just for the super rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though. In reality, anyone with even a modest amount of assets can benefit from securing a little protection before a marriage.
Prenuptial agreements are especially recommended for people who fall into one of the following categories:
- Have assets like real estate, investment accounts or retirement funds
- Own a business, or a significant share in a business
- Expect to receive an inheritance
- Have family heirlooms that they want to pass to specific family members
- Have children from a prior relationship
- Plan to support a spouse during college or graduate school
- Are pursuing a degree in a high-earning field
- Are much wealthier than the person they will marry
It is true that having a conversation about a prenuptial agreement can be a bit awkward. However, broaching the topic early – and in a sensitive manner – is always advised. It is better not to let the conversation come as a surprise, and it is definitely better to not wait until right before the wedding to raise the issue.
The importance of working with an attorney
If you are getting married in Texas and considering a prenuptial agreement – or if your fiancé or fiancée has asked you to consider a prenuptial agreement – it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney will be able to evaluate the agreement to make sure your interests are well protected and that the agreement will be enforceable in a divorce.
In addition, it is important to talk with an attorney if you are going through a divorce that involves a prenuptial agreement. Depending on what position you are in, an attorney could either help you enforce the agreement or identify possible reasons for challenging it.