Hearing the phrase “prenuptial agreement” can provoke an emotional response, especially if you’re the one being asked to sign one. These agreements have negative connotations attached to them, like the idea that people only sign them when they don’t trust each other.
Much of the stigma associated with prenups comes from various myths that have cropped up around them. In this article, our Arlington family law attorneys will address some of the most common myths about Texas prenups and explain the realities of these helpful documents.
While it may be true that the more assets you bring to a marriage the more you could benefit from a prenup, you don’t have to be rich to benefit from one.
That’s because prenuptial agreements can do a lot more than just protect the property you bring into the marriage. They can be written to proactively resolve future disputes or to specify the rights and obligations of each spouse in various scenarios.
Your Texas prenup could determine any or all of the following:
- Explain each party’s rights regarding property, no matter when or where it is acquired
- Detail each spouse’s ability to buy, sell, transfer or otherwise manage and control property
- What should happen to your property if you get separated or divorced
- What should happen to your property if one of you dies
- Modifications to or eliminations of spousal support
- How to handle death benefits from a life insurance policy
The cost of having a lawyer draft a prenup varies based on your assets and your goals, but it’s safe to say that they almost always cost less than a few thousand dollars. Compare that with the cost of litigating a divorce without a prenup, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Investing in a prenup up front can save you a lot of money later.
Texas is a community property state. That means two things:
- Assets acquired by either party during marriage are considered marital property and subject to division during divorce. This is true even if the asset has only one spouse’s name on it.
- Assets that you brought into the marriage, which were your separate property, can become commingled during the marriage, transforming them into marital property that must be divided.
The only surefire way to keep your separate property truly separate is to spell out ahead of time which assets are separate, by using a prenuptial agreement.
On the contrary, the process of creating a prenuptial agreement requires open and honest conversations about your finances and your future desires, and those conversations are only possible when you have a strong, trusting relationship.
Money is a primary driver of divorce, so talking about it before marriage demystifies your financial situation so you both understand each other’s positions.
The truth is, Texas courts have a long history of upholding prenuptial agreements so long as they were properly written and executed. Generally, a prenup is valid if:
- It was signed voluntarily
- Both parties fairly and reasonably disclosed their assets and liabilities during the drafting process
- Both parties had reasonable time to review the documents and think about them before signing
- The agreement is not so one-sided that it is unconscionable
At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our Arlington office has negotiated and drafted prenuptial agreements for many clients over the years. We know how to create enforceable prenups that achieve your goals. If you have prenup questions, call 817-799-7125 or send us a message to schedule a free initial consultation.