Everybody loves a wedding. Beyond the wedding plans lies the reality of everyday life, and the possibility that it may come to an end. We always hope for “happily ever after,” but current estimates put divorce at 2.9 people out of every 1,000 as of 2016. The trend includes people who marry when they’ve finished college and become established, as well as couples over 40 who remarry after a divorce. And many couples never marry at all.
In a recent blog post, we discussed the business aspects of a prenuptial agreement. But the business aspects are just part of what a “prenup” can cover for marriage in the state of Texas.
Many people feel the discussion of a prenup can kill the romance, and maybe even the relationship. But having specific conversations about the non-romantic legal and financial aspects of a new marriage ensure agreements by both parties as to how the affairs are handled after the wedding.
What It Covers
A prenup is a contract intended to define aspects of a marriage as agreed upon by both individuals in a couple. It’s a personal conversation about the full disclosure of everything each party has going into a marriage, and what you expect to have and share throughout the entire duration of the marriage relationship. The TX prenuptial agreement requires you to have a conversation about important aspects of your future marriage, including:
- Bank accounts: joint, separate, or both?
- What will happen to assets that are purchased together as part of the marital estate and in both parties names, such as a house?
- The division of all property in the case of death or divorce
- The decision of who has the rights to buy, sell, use, transfer or otherwise control or manage a property
- Spousal support, the establishment or elimination thereof
- Creation of an estate plan, including wills, trusts, and other arrangements to carry out the terms of the agreement
- Life insurance benefits after a death
While the inclusions are usually financial in nature, such as spousal support, the prenup’s clauses can also include things like property distribution, child care, healthcare issues, and other non-financial aspects of a marriage.
What it can’t do, however, is:
- Limit or eliminate a child’s right to support
- Decide child custody (this is handled by the family courts)
- Anything that is against public policy, or involves criminal activity
Child custody and support is a completely separate issue from divorce law, and the monies collected by the state can only be used for the support of the child.
Do You Need A Prenup?
Many young people still enter into marriage with a twinkle in their eyes and not much more. Over time, when they acquire property and other assets, the potential for divorce can divide them, not always on a 50/50 basis.
If you have children from a prior marriage, a prenup can protect you, your spouse, and your children in the event of a divorce or a death. It can be a part of a larger estate plan, to ensure that any assets or property are distributed according to your wishes.
You should also seriously consider a TX prenuptial agreement if:
- You or your spouse have a considerable amount of debt, such as student loans, in your names
- You or your spouse have a significant amount of assets, such as bank and/or retirement accounts, real estate, stocks, bonds, etc.
- You have a business that could produce income that may become community property
A Fort Worth family law attorney who understands the complexities of a prenuptial agreement will help you create a contract that suits the needs of both parties before and after you say “I Do.” Once both parties come to an agreement about who, what, and how, the agreement must be in writing long before the date of marriage. Each side should be represented by his/her own attorney for the examination and signing of the prenup, which takes effect the date the marriage occurs.
Let Fort Worth’s Family Law Attorney Help With Your Premarital agreement
Wendy L. Hart is an experienced premarital agreement attorney helping people throughout Tarrant County who need help in marriage and family matters. Wendy understands the divorce process as well as the difficulties involved in most family law cases. We represent both men and women in Fort Worth family law matters. We’ll make sure you’re treated fairly, and will protect your interests and your children.