While not the most romantic topic to discuss before a wedding, a prenuptial agreement can provide each partner with legal protection, or the division of assets, in the event of separation or Divorce. This document is especially important for couples who may wish to protect assets for children born from a previous marriage or to protect assets or income accrued before and during the marriage, that they do not want to share with their upcoming spouse, without written permissions. Texas family law stipulates that all prenuptial agreements must be in writing to be considered valid and enforceable. Both parties must also agree to the documents terms, sign and be fully informed of what they are signing.
What Can Prenups Protect?
Prenups protect separate property and possible future community assets, and the ability of individual partners to make decisions regarding that property. This is particularly important with regard to family heirlooms, family money and items owned by one party prior to marriage. Family law does not mandate the distribution of heirlooms. As such, you must specifically annotate how that property is to be divided in the event of divorce or death.
A Prenup will outline the financial obligations and responsibilities of each partner. It can also address the choice of religion or residence or residence location in regards to living arrangements and upcoming children, as well as provide for monetary settlements should one spouse commit adultery or file for divorce. It can also state the choice of venue if you divorce.
What Do Prenups Not Protect?
No legal contract or agreement can supersede state family law, such as those laws regarding child support or child custody. Additionally, legal agreements cannot protect against criminal activity. For example, if the state finds that one spouse purposely withheld information before or during the marriage or acted in a way which defrauded their partner, the courts may hold that the prenuptial agreement is not valid due to illegal activity.
Can a Pre-Nup Mandate Child Support or Child Custody?
As stated above, a Prenup cannot govern the amount of child support awarded or child Custody. All child support must meet the guidelines of the state. While it may be possible to establish educational requirements for children produced during the course of the marriage in the PreNup, these provisions will in no way negate the legal obligations of state mandated child support
Lastly, Your prenup may be considered invalid if both parties did not enter into the agreement with full disclosure and legal counsel advising BOTH PARTIES. Both parties must enter into the prenup willingly and knowingly and with the full understanding of all the legal terms and requirements of the agreement. It is best that each party have their own counsel when reviewing the agreement; however, a waiver can be filed by the non-drafting party, should they choose to not seek legal advise and have not been coerced into signing the agreement. If you need a Pre-Nup, call 214-351-9100. Thank you.
If you need an attorney who can draft your PreNuptial Agreement, contact one of our representatives at SGMS Law PLLC by emailing us or by calling us at 214-351-9100. Thank you.