Texas law allows a couple to enter into their marital contract where each party may outline their financial, property, and family obligations throughout the marriage. Marital agreements may be created either before or after the wedding, and they are respectively defined as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Having a prenuptial agreement (or postnuptial agreement) in place is both reasonable and wise for couples at all income and asset levels. It is necessary for those with considerable resources.
When to Get a Prenuptial Agreement
You may want to consider getting a marital agreement for these reasons:
1. Wealth Management
You may be more financially secure than your partner, or vise versa. A marital agreement is often used to protect the future of a business or other financial assets. This may include a family business, gifts, inheritance, and debt. A marital agreement can also be used to safeguard the partner who is financially weaker, beginning a new business venture, or parents. Those Who Are Most In Need Of A Prenup May Surprise You from Forbes Magazine discusses the topic.
2. Planning for the Future
If you have strong religious or cultural beliefs that are important to continue upholding with your future children, then you can outline those important family expectations in a marital agreement. It’s an opportunity to clearly set expectations, and it can help a couple make future decisions even if the marriage ends.
3. Life is Uncertain
Life is rarely predictable. People change and expectations may change, too. A marital agreement created while you are both in a positive state of mind can help you to avoid conflict if divorce becomes necessary. Your marital agreement can detail how assets are divided and things are handled. This can be especially important in relation to spousal debt, wealth, or inheritance.
How to Get a Prenuptial Agreement
A Prenuptial Agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties for it to be legally valid. Many couples draft their Texas prenup using an online template, then turn to a family law attorney for review and advice. It is in your best interest to have a family law attorney advise you on the details of your prenup and the long term impact of what you are agreeing to. Family law attorneys are the experts who have seen and written enough prenuptial agreements to know the right questions to ask you.
Requirements for a Valid Texas Prenuptial Agreement include:
- Both parties must voluntarily execute the agreement.
- Both parties must engage in full disclosure of their respective financial, property and family situations at the time the document is executed.
- Both parties must sign the document in the presence of a notary public.
It is important to write up your agreement in a way that is clear, understandable, and legally sound. If you draft your own agreement, you’ll want to have separate lawyers (one for each party) review it and advise you about it. A court is much more likely to question the validity of your Texas prenup without the advice of legal counsel.
Although a prenuptial agreement cannot predict your future or prevent life’s uncertainties, it can prepare you for those risks and rewards. A prenuptial agreement lays the foundation for a successful marriage by providing security for both you and your new spouse.