Many couples enter into prenuptial agreements before taking their vows. Perhaps it was an act of faith for the less monied partner. Maybe it was something a parent insisted on in order to give their blessing and the couple agreed. It might have been two independently wealthy partners who wanted to make sure their assets were kept separate in the event of divorce. Whatever the reason for creating the document, when it comes time to actually enforce it one of the marriage partners may no longer feel the document is fair and does not want to abide by the previously agreed upon guidelines. When this happens, they may even petition the court to nullify the prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that specifies what happens to each partners assets and property in the case of divorce. In Texas, there is a comprehensive list of items that may be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. A few of them include:
**It’s important to note that Texas law prohibits elimination or reduction of child support as part of a prenuptial agreement.
We’ve already discussed what a prenuptial agreement does. But what are the basic elements such an agreement must include? There are four essential components that must be present for a prenuptial agreement to hold clout.
There are a variety of reasons either party in a new marriage may want a prenuptial agreement. In Texas, if there is no such agreement, property and assets are community property. This means both parties will split everything equally. A prenuptial agreement can specify stipulations about property and its distribution in the event of a divorce.
Another reason for prenuptial agreements may relate to future inheritances. For instance, if one partner will inherit a piece of property with the intention of keeping it in the family, a prenuptial agreement could specify that. If one of the pair stands to inherit a substantial amount of money, either from an estate or life insurance policy, the distribution could be decided upon in advance.
The protection of business and finances is yet another reason for creating a prenuptial agreement. For instance, if one partner owns a business, an agreement can protect their business and keep it out of any community property settlement. Also, if one partner has a significant amount of debit, a prenuptial agreement keeping income separate might help to keep their income from being seized or used to pay off that debt.
Of course, the agreement may be nullified or adjusted if both parties agree, but other than that there are really only two reasons the state of Texas allows to break a prenuptial agreement.
**Note that a prenuptial agreement can also be damaged/defaulted by one or both partners choosing to mix the financial affairs during the marriage that were previously separated in the agreement.
If you think you may need a prenuptial agreement it is important to consult a qualified attorney as soon as possible. It can take some time to ensure that a document meets all legal requirements and also works out any concerns either partner may have. If you neglect to obtain a prenuptial agreement and either you or your spouse later decide you need one, you can talk to your attorney about creating a post nuptial agreement instead. Both documents are very similar, with the main difference, of course, being the time of creation.
It’s essential to consult with an attorney if you have any questions about prenuptial agreements. Because of their specific nature, it is necessary for a qualified attorney to assist in creating it. They will be able to guide you in the information you will need to gather as well as what any legal requirements for the document.
If you are interested in learning more about hiring an experienced attorney in Texas that can answer your prenuptial agreement questions, please contact Wilson & Associates Law at (214) 646-3253 today. We can answer all of your questions regarding prenuptial agreements as well as help guide you through the process of creating, contesting, or defending one.