“Should I sign a prenup?” It’s a question that we sometimes hear from clients on the verge of getting married. In some cases, prenups can bring peace of mind. But, they can also be a great source of stress. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Prenup?
Prenups—also called prenuptial agreements or premarital agreements—are written contracts created and signed by two people before they are married. In the prenup, the couple agrees to terms that will become effective when they are married.
In a prenup, couples can agree on many things. They can agree to their rights to any property belonging to either or both of them, no matter how or when it was acquired or where it’s located. They can also agree to the right to buy, sell, use or otherwise transfer property. And they can agree to what happens to their property if they divorce or if one spouse passes away. Spousal support, estate planning, life insurance and the law governing the agreement can all be agreed to.
Are Prenups Enforceable in Texas Courts?
Prenups are generally enforceable in Texas courts as long as they meet some basic criteria:
- They are in writing.
- They are signed by both parties.
- Both spouses must have disclosed all assets and liabilities before signing the document – so everyone involved has the full information they’d need to make the right decision.
- Both spouses waived the right to future disclosure.
Texas courts have found prenups unenforceable in some situations, like when they were used to defraud creditors, avoid liability for child support or were used in a criminal way. Prenups have also been found unenforceable when one spouse coerced the other to sign or failed to disclose all of their assets.
Only Your Attorney Can Tell You for Sure Whether to Sign
A blog post can’t tell you whether or not you should sign a prenup; that’s an attorney’s job. The best way to get a real answer in your situation is to talk directly with your own lawyer in a confidential consultation. Don’t just depend on what you hear from a lawyer representing your potential spouse. Your own lawyer can review the document, get the facts of your relationship and discuss your options.
If you do have legal questions about a prenuptial agreement, it’s important to ask before your sign. A signed prenuptial agreement is generally enforceable in Texas courts—even if you later come to regret signing it. If you need advice, start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 .