Bustos Family Law understands the need to consult with a Texas prenuptial agreement attorney. Call our office at (512) 766-2768 to speak to a Texas Prenup lawyer. Our mission is to provide compassionate and effective representation for our clients, and that includes helping them plan for a successful marriage with a premarital agreement!
So what is a premarital agreement in Texas? How do they work, and how can a prenup lawyer help? Let’s get into it…
Texas Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements in Texas (sometimes called a premarital agreement, or prenup), and postnuptial agreements (also known as partition and exchange agreements) can be incredibly helpful tools in creating a roadmap for marriage success.
Legal Definition of Premarital Agreement
Texas Family Code Sec. 4.001
Sec. 4.001. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
(1) “Premarital agreement” means an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage. Full statute at https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.4.htm
A Prenuptial Agreement Must Be In Writing
Texas Family Code Sec. 4.002
Sec. 4.002. FORMALITIES. A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement is enforceable without consideration.
Texas Prenup Requirements
What are the 2 main things that the Texas Family Code requires for a valid premarital agreement? See the video.
What Can You Include in a Prenup?
Texas Family Code Sec. 4.003
Sec. 4.003. CONTENT. (a) The parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:
(1) the rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;
(2) the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
(3) the disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
(4) the modification or elimination of spousal support;
(5) the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
(6) the ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
(7) the choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
(8) any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
(b) The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.
Texas Prenups Explained
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a legal contract between two individuals who are planning to get married. The premarital agreement outlines the division of assets and property in the event of a divorce.
Prenups can cover a wide range of topics such as community property, separate property, spousal support, future income, family inheritances, business interests, debts, and more Prenups can also help guide your future estate planning needs.
How Do Prenups Affect My Property?
Community Property vs. Separate Property and Premarital Agreements
In Texas, community property is the legal concept that all property acquired during a marriage is owned jointly by both spouses. This includes future income.
Separate property includes property owned before the marriage, property acquired through inheritance or gifts, or property specifically designated as separate in a prenup.
Separate Property Defined by Prenup
Prenuptial agreements can impact community property division in Texas by allowing spouses to define their separate property or choose not to create a community estate at all.
If a valid prenup exists, a court must abide by its terms when dividing property during a divorce. Prenups must be written in compliance with state law and must be property executed to be enforceable. While prenups are not necessary for every couple getting married, they can provide peace of mind and help prevent lengthy and costly legal battles in the event of a divorce.
Do I Need A Prenup?
You need a prenup if…
- You have significant assets.
- You have significant debts.
- You are a high net worth individual.
- You own a business.
- You have children from a previous union.
- You anticipate a significant increase in income during the marriage.
- You would like to provide peace of mind for the future of your marriage.
Determining who should get a prenuptial agreement in Texas can depend on a variety of factors. Generally, those who have significant assets, significant debts, high net worth, or own a business may benefit from a prenup.
The State Bar of Texas notes that a prenup “is designed to protect what a person brings to the marriage: any inheritance, property, savings, etc.”
Additionally, those with children from previous relationships or those who are entering into a second or subsequent marriage may find a prenup useful in protecting their assets. Prenups can also be helpful for those who are entering into a marriage with a large amount of debt or those who anticipate a significant increase in income during the marriage.
Prenups can be beneficial for anyone, regardless of their financial situation. Prenups can help to protect non-wealthy individuals by clearly outlining the division of assets and debts in the event of a divorce or separation. Furthermore, prenups can provide peace of mind and allow couples to openly discuss their finances and expectations for the future.
Ultimately, a prenup can be a valuable tool to help protect your interests and ensure that your marriage begins on a solid foundation.
It’s always best to consult with legal counsel and have an open and honest conversation with your future spouse to determine if a prenup is right for you. Ultimately, the decision to get a prenup is a personal one that should be made after careful consideration and with the guidance of legal counsel.
Estate Planning and Prenuptial Agreements
If you’re located in Texas and are considering estate planning, a prenuptial agreement can be a useful tool.
Prenups can help to clearly define separate property and ensure that it is properly distributed to your desired beneficiaries in the event of your death. This is especially important if you have children from a previous marriage or if you want to protect certain assets for certain family members. By having a prenup, you can provide peace of mind and certainty to your loved ones about how your assets will be distributed.
Furthermore, prenups can also help to avoid lengthy legal battles between family members over inheritance disputes. Ultimately, a prenuptial agreement can be a helpful component of your overall estate planning strategy.
How Will A Prenup Protect Me?
There are a variety of reasons why people choose to get a prenuptial agreement. For many, it’s simply a way to provide peace of mind and ensure that their assets and property are protected in the event of a divorce or separation.
Prenups can also be helpful for those who have significant assets or high net worth, as they can help to prevent lengthy legal battles and ensure a fair division of assets.
Additionally, prenups can provide a clear outline of expectations and responsibilities within the marriage, which can help to avoid conflicts down the road. By having a prenup, couples can openly discuss their finances and expectations for the future, which can lead to a stronger and more stable relationship. Ultimately, a prenuptial agreement can be a useful tool for protecting your interests and ensuring a solid foundation for your marriage.
Will A Prenup Ruin My Marriage?
It’s a common misconception that getting a prenuptial agreement means that a relationship is doomed from the start. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many couples find that having a prenup strengthens their relationship by facilitating open and honest communication about finances and expectations.
Prenups can also provide peace of mind and security for both parties, knowing that their assets and property are protected in the event of a divorce.
Additionally, prenups can help to establish boundaries and expectations within the relationship, which can ultimately lead to a stronger and more stable union. Ultimately, getting a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean that a relationship is doomed – it simply means that you’re taking proactive steps to protect your interests and ensure a solid foundation for your future together.
What Does a Prenup Usually Include?
In Texas, prenuptial agreements typically include provisions for the division of property and assets in the event of divorce. This can include outlining separate property and community property, as well as establishing how debts will be divided.
Additionally, prenups can cover issues related to spousal support (a.k.a. alimony) including whether it will be paid, how much will be paid, and for how long. Prenups can also address inheritance rights, establish protections for businesses, and assign responsibilities in the event of a death or incapacitation.
Ultimately, what is included in a prenuptial agreement depends on the unique circumstances of each couple and their goals for the future. It’s important to work with a qualified attorney to ensure that your prenup is legally enforceable and provides the protection you need.
Do I Need A Prenup If I’m Not Rich?
Even if you have minimal assets, a prenuptial agreement can still be beneficial. Prenups can help to protect your finances and provide clarity about how property and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce, even if there isn’t much to divide. Prenups reduce the costs of divorce by predetermining how property will be divided which can fast-track the divorce process altogether.
During the marriage, prenups can outline financial expectations and responsibilities within the marriage, which can help to avoid conflicts down the road. For some couples, a prenup can also be a way to provide peace of mind and ensure that they’re both on the same page about their financial goals and expectations for the future.
Ultimately, getting a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean that you’re anticipating a divorce – it simply means that you’re taking proactive steps to protect your interests and ensure a solid foundation for your marriage
Should I Get A Prenup If I Am In Debt?
If you have debt but are considering marriage, getting a prenuptial agreement can still be beneficial. Prenups can help to protect both parties by clearly outlining who is responsible for paying off the debts during the marriage or in the event of a divorce.
This can help to avoid lengthy legal battles and ensure that each party is held accountable for their portion of the debt. Prenups can also provide clarity about financial expectations and responsibilities within the marriage, which can help to avoid conflicts down the road.
For some couples, a prenup can also be a way to provide peace of mind and ensure that they’re both on the same page about their financial goals and expectations for the future. Ultimately, getting a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean that you’re anticipating a divorce – it simply means that you’re taking proactive steps to protect your interests and ensure a solid foundation for your marriage
Can I Change My Prenup After I Get Married?
In Texas, couples have the option to enter into a partition and exchange agreement or an agreement to convert separate property to community property. A partition and exchange agreement allows couples to convert community property into separate property, and couples can decide whether they want to continue to create a community estate during the course of the marriage.
This can provide flexibility in managing finances and investments.
On the other hand, an agreement to convert separate property to community property allows couples to convert separate property into community property without exchanging any assets. This can be beneficial for couples who want to ensure that their assets are jointly owned and divisible in the event of a divorce or death.
Ultimately, both of these agreements require the consent of both parties and should be carefully considered and reviewed with the guidance of a qualified attorney.
Texas Prenup Cost
The cost of a prenuptial agreement in Texas can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the agreement and the location where it’s being drafted. During an initial consultation with our firm, we will discuss and outline what your expectations are for your prenup and we can better advise you of the cost.
Prenups are incredibly specific to each individual couple, so the cost will be determined based on the circumstances of the parties.
The investment in a prenup can provide peace of mind and protection for both parties in the event of a divorce or separation. It’s important to work with a qualified attorney to ensure that your prenup is legally sound and provides the protection you need, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about the cost and explore your options.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Prenup?
The timeline for getting a prenuptial agreement can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the agreement and the responsiveness of both parties. Generally speaking, it can take several weeks or even months to draft and finalize a prenup, but many agreements can be completed more quickly.
It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to work through the process and not rush into signing an agreement without proper review and consideration. Working with a qualified attorney can help to streamline the process and ensure that all necessary provisions are included in the agreement.
Ultimately, the goal is to create a solid foundation for your marriage and protect your interests in the event of a divorce or separation, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.
Prenup Infidelity Clause in Texas
Yes. In Texas, it is possible to include an infidelity clause in a prenuptial agreement.
This clause typically outlines the financial consequences that would result if one or both parties engage in extramarital affairs during the marriage. An infidelity clause can be designed to provide financial compensation to the innocent spouse, limit or eliminate spousal support in the event of a divorce, or even result in the forfeiture of certain assets.
It’s important to note that the term “infidelity” is an ambiguous word and can be defined differently by different people.
This is why it’s important to have a clear and open discussion about what infidelity means to each party before including an infidelity clause in a prenuptial agreement. What constitutes infidelity can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including cultural and personal beliefs.
That’s why it’s important to work with a qualified attorney to craft an infidelity clause that is tailored to your specific needs and expectations. By having a clear definition of infidelity in your prenup, you can help to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that both parties are held accountable to the same standards.
Adding a Cheating Clause to Your Texas Prenup
Can I Get A Prenup Right Before the Wedding?
It is possible to get a prenuptial agreement right before the wedding, but it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to work through the process.
Ideally, you should aim to start the prenup process several months before the wedding to allow enough time for each party’s attorney to draft and review the necessary documents. Rushing the prenup process can lead to mistakes and oversights that could invalidate the agreement in the future.
Additionally, it’s important to have open communication with your partner about the prenup and to make sure that both parties fully understand the terms and implications of the agreement. By giving yourself ample time and working with qualified attorneys, you can help to ensure that your prenup is legally sound and provides the protection you need.
Ultimately, the goal of a prenup is to provide peace of mind and clarity about financial expectations and responsibilities within the marriage, so it’s important to approach the process thoughtfully and carefully.
Can I Get A Prenup AFTER The Wedding?
While you cannot get a prenuptial agreement after a wedding in Texas, there are other legal agreements that can offer similar protections.
One option is a partition and exchange agreement, which can be helpful for couples who did not enter into a prenup but want the protection a prenup typically provides.
A partition and exchange agreement allows couples to convert community property into separate property, agree not create a community estate, or convert separate property into community property. It can also can address many of the same issues as a prenup, including property division and spousal support. Ultimately, the best course of action depends on your individual situation and goals. Working with a qualified attorney can help you determine the most appropriate legal agreement for your needs and ensure that it provides the protection you seek.
Will a Prenuptial Agreement Kill Our Romance?
It’s a common misconception that getting a prenuptial agreement means you don’t trust each other and that it will kill the romance in your marriage.
In reality, a prenup can actually help build trust and provide clarity about financial expectations within the marriage. By working together to create a prenup, couples can have an open and honest discussion about their finances, goals, and priorities, which can help to strengthen their relationship.
Additionally, a prenup can provide peace of mind and security in the event of a divorce or separation, which can actually relieve stress and tension within the marriage. Ultimately, a prenup is a tool for planning and preparing for the future, and it doesn’t have to detract from the romance or trust within a relationship.
In fact, by taking the time to plan for potential challenges and misunderstandings, couples can actually build a stronger foundation for their marriage.
Same Sex Couple Prenup
Absolutely! Same-sex couples have the same legal right to create prenuptial agreements as opposite-sex couples. In fact, prenuptial agreements can be particularly important for same-sex couples, who may face unique legal challenges and uncertainties when it comes to property division, spousal support, and other financial matters.
See also…same sex divorce attorney for more info.
By working with a qualified attorney to create a prenup, same-sex couples can ensure that their rights and interests are protected in the event of a divorce. Additionally, a prenup can help same-sex couples clarify their financial expectations and goals within the marriage, which can help to build a strong and healthy relationship.
At Bustos Family Law PLLC, we are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation for all couples, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Alimony and Prenups in Texas
Obtaining alimony (also known as spousal support) after divorce depends greatly on what was agreed to in a prenuptial agreement.
A prenup can establish the terms and conditions of alimony, including the amount, duration, and conditions under which it will be paid. If a prenup includes provisions for alimony, the court will generally defer to those provisions when making decisions about spousal support during a divorce.
Are Prenups Enforceable in Texas?
In Texas, prenuptial agreements are enforceable as long as they are properly executed. This means that both parties must have had an opportunity to review and understand the terms of the agreement, and both must have voluntarily entered into it without fraud, duress, or undue influence. In most cases, prenups must be confirmed after the marriage to ensure that both parties still agree to the terms of the agreement.
Unfortunately, this step is often missed in the process, which can make the prenup unenforceable. However, if a prenup is properly executed and confirmed after the marriage, courts will generally favor upholding and enforcing the agreement. It’s important to work with a qualified attorney to create a prenup that meets all legal requirements and provides the protection you need.
By taking the time to create a legally sound and enforceable prenup, you can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected in the event of a divorce.
When Are Prenups Valid?
In Texas, prenuptial agreements are valid if both parties have had an opportunity to review and understand the terms of the agreement, and both have voluntarily entered into it without fraud, duress, or undue influence.
Additionally, a prenup must be in writing and signed by both parties in front of a notary public. If these requirements are met, courts will generally uphold the validity of the prenup. However, it’s important to note that there are certain things that cannot be included in a prenup, such as provisions related to child custody or child support.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable is to work with an experienced attorney who can help you create an agreement that meets all legal requirements and provides the protection you need.
Texas Prenup Lawyer FAQ
How much does a Texas prenup cost?
Generally speaking most lawyers will charge a flat fee for some standard level premarital agreement. But this price rises as the complexity of your situation increases. Factors that can increase the cost of your prenup include the quantity and sophistication of your financial assets, whether there are children from a previous marriage, and also certain estate planning factors. Contact our office to speak to an attorney about the cost of your prenup.
Will My Prenup Hold Up In Court?
If your prenup is validly executed and created in accordance with the relevant Texas law, then it is likely that your premarital agreement will hold up in court. The best thing to do is contact a lawyer in Texas who has experience with premarital agreements and discuss your specific needs and situation before creating your prenup.
Will a Prenup Protect My 401k and Retirement Accounts?
In Texas spouses are free to come to an agreement on how to treat certain retirement accounts in the event of a divorce. Your lawyer can talk to you about how to handle your 401k, IRA, and other assets in the premarital agreement. Call our office today.
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