Prenuptial Agreements in Texas: What They Do & Do Not Protect
A prenuptial (or premarital) agreement is an agreement between two individuals who are contemplating marriage, to be effective upon their marriage date. These agreements are in writing, and must be signed by both parties. More and more couples are seeking to enter into prenuptial agreements before they get married, especially younger couples. They can not only serve to protect an individual’s wishes, but also previous family members if the individual getting married has children from a previous marriage.
Perhaps most importantly, these agreements can sometimes prevent financial fights within a marriage, particularly if they specifically spell out certain roles and responsibilities with respect to a family’s finances. According to one poll, 15 percent of divorced Americans regret not having signed a prenup.
What Prenuptial Agreements Can Cover
Texas, like many other states, has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which addresses the various standards behind prenuptial agreements. These agreements really can cover anything and everything as long as the nature of what is addressed is legal; for example, they can address who owns what property, who is responsible for the maintenance of that property, who can sell and/or rent that property; even who can live in it during what times of the year.
They can also build in certain provisions if certain actions take place, such as adultery, or the death of a family member, etc., and other issues completely outside of what will and will not happen to certain assets, such as where the couple will live, career opportunities, how children will be raised, etc. In addition, prenuptial agreements can not only provide assurances in the event of divorce, they can also be strategically formulated so as to protect both parties against creditors under some circumstances.
What Prenuptial Agreements Cannot Cover
What prenuptial agreements cannot do is dictate certain provisions that are in opposition to what state law requires; for example, trying to waive child support payments. They also cannot dictate anything that could possibly further something criminal.
Keep in mind that if you did not enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, a postnuptial agreement is still available, allowing couples to enter into a similar agreement after marriage.
Texas Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
When it comes to drafting prenuptial agreements, it is crucial that both parties engage in full disclosure during the process; otherwise, provisions could later be challenged under the agreement. There are also additional formalities that must be followed under Texas law, which your attorney will be familiar with.