You might have heard them called “prenups.” Your wealthy friend or family member might have thrown the term around before getting married to someone with far less money. In Texas, these legal contracts are called “premarital agreements,” and they are far more applicable than you might realize.
Just like the name suggests, a premarital agreement is an agreement agreed to by both spouses prior to the wedding. This agreement, which must be in writing, set out the rights and obligations of spouses regarding real and personal property. Because the division of property can be complicated in a Texas divorce, premarital agreements can protect spouses’ property.
If you and your fiancé are thinking about executing a premarital agreement, here are some things you should know.
If an agreement is unconscionable, it is considered to be extremely unfair to one party. A Texas court will usually render a premarital agreement to be unconscionable if one spouse did not disclose all of their financial information to the other spouse before the agreement was signed or one of the spouses was coerced into signing. Whether or not a premarital agreement is unconscionable is decided on a case-by-case basis. This makes it important for both spouses to get independent legal advice before signing the agreement.
Although the most popular use for premarital agreements is making plans for real and personal property, these agreements can do much more. Spouses can make plans for spousal support (alimony); they might choose to waive the right to spousal support, agree not to request a certain amount of spousal support, or otherwise modify spousal support.
There are limits, however, to the things you can do with premarital agreements. The most notable examples are child support and conservatorship (child custody). These matters are decided in accordance with the “child’s best interests” legal standard. In other words, the parents’ wishes are secondary when it comes to matters regarding children.
Wealthy or not, premarital agreements can be especially beneficial for blended families. Asset distribution can get complicated when you have kids with more than one person. A premarital agreement can make sure that specific assets go to the child you want to receive the assets. Be sure to reconcile these sections of your premarital agreement with your estate plan.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC understands that talking about premarital agreements with your fiancé may not be an easy conversation. You could both extract significant value from such an agreement, though, but only if you have competent legal counsel. Contact our firm to discuss your legal needs and goals.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
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Austin, TX 78735
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
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San Antonio, TX 78217