4 Important Things to Know About a Texas Premarital Agreement
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.
- “Unconscionable” premarital agreements are not enforceable in Texas.
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.
- Premarital agreements can decide spousal support in the event of divorce.
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.
- Texas spouses may not agree to child support in a premarital agreement.
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.
- Premarital agreements can be useful for Texans who have already been married.
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.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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Austin, TX 78749