Couples bring more to marriages today. Marrying later, they have accumulated their own assets, including cash, investments, and real property. They blend families and combine resources.
It doesn’t ruin the romance in marriage if you both think alike about financial, savings, and retirement matters. It doesn’t take much to differentiate your romantic feelings and your practical concerns. As Mindy Uday wrote in Huffington Post, “A prenup is not about distrust, control, or impending doom; it’s about planning and protecting finances for both of you.”
Still, you don’t want to enter an agreement without understanding some prenuptial terms common to such contracts in Fort Worth, TX.
How a Prenuptial Agreement Works in Texas
Chapter 4 of the Texas Family Code defines a prenuptial agreement as “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage.” The agreement deals with the respective partner’s “interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings.”
The prospective spouses agree to the management, control, and distribution of property in the event of death or divorce and thereafter.
Common prenuptial terms to know:
· Separate Property refers to any real or personal property acquired before marriage. It also includes property acquired after divorce, through gift or inheritance during the marriage, or within marriage through separate property funds.
· Division Upon Death deals with the distribution of assets on the death of a party in the marriage. A prenuptial agreement is best prepared in conjunction with other documents necessary for probate. Wills, trusts, and prenuptial agreements should align on the division upon death. The prenuptial agreement and related documents should deal with the benefits paid to the surviving spouse and children in the event of either spouse’s death.
· Spousal and Child Support regulations in Texas requires money paid as child support be paid in the child’s interest. And, family court judges will determine child custody and the amount of child support regardless of parental commitments to prenuptial agreements. Texas law does not support the determination of alimony paid as spousal support. Any financial award would be determined by other criteria.
· Separation of Business Interest provisions seek to define business assets where partners individually or jointly own a business. The prenuptial agreement can define and determine the percent or ownership or respective shares for division.
· Credit and Debt Disclosure should be disclosed fully by parties to a prenuptial agreement. The preparation of the agreement affords a good opportunity for the parties to consider their financial position, priorities, and potential.
Valid prenuptial agreements are entered voluntarily and prepare in writing for signature by both parties. The may be amended or re-written during the marriage, but they are considered effective on the date of the marriage. But, they must comply with the provisions of the Texas Family Code.
Those provisions exclude alimony, child support, and community assets earned during the marriage from the determination in a prenuptial agreement. Potential spouses are, then, advised to seek independent legal counsel in advance of any prenuptial agreement, just as they are on the dissolution of the marriage.
Seeking Independent Legal Counsel in Fort Worth, TX
Wendy L. Hart is an experienced and compassionate family law attorney who has been helping people throughout Fort Worth, TX and the Metro-Plex area who find themselves ending a marriage. As a divorcee herself, Wendy understands the process as well as the difficulties involved. She understands the purpose and benefits of a prenuptial agreement.
We can provide full representation both for men and women and will work to ensure you are treated fairly, as well as protect the interests of you and your children.
Visit our Mansfield office at 2363 HWY 287 N, Suite 108, use our online contact form, or call us at (817) 842-2336. We’re ready to help.