When Is a Prenup a Good Idea?

November 30, 2018 Posted in Divorce

The easy part is over. One of you proposed and the other said “yes.” There was a ring and maybe a party and now wedding plans are in full swing.

It might be time to approach your partner and have a much less festive -- and potentially much more difficult -- conversation about whether or not a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea.

Prenups in Texas

Before broaching the subject of a prenuptial agreement -- also called premarital agreements and prenups -- with your betrothed, it is a good idea to consult with a Dallas family law attorney to understand how the contracts work in Texas.

Texas has adopted the Premarital Agreement Act, under which almost all agreements setting forth how property and financial matters will be addressed in the event of a divorce will be upheld by Texas courts, as long as they are not unjust or contrary to other laws.

For instance:

  • A premarital agreement cannot include terms where either party agrees to never seek child support. Texas law protects children. Parents, quite simply, cannot contract away their legal obligations to care for their children.
  • A premarital agreement must be voluntarily signed by both parties.
  • A premarital agreement cannot be blatantly unfair on financial issues. Each party must disclose all of his or her finances and cannot hide assets.

Reasons to Consider a Texas Premarital Agreement

Once you understand the parameters of the agreement, it’s time to consider whether a prenup is in the best interests of both you and your future spouse.  Here are some questions to get the discussion going.

Is either of you entering the marriage with significant assets?

Texas is a community property state. Simply stated, under community property laws marital assets are generally divided 50-50 in a divorce. Oftentimes, assets owned by one spouse are the other become inadvertently commingled during the course of the marriage, converting from a separate asset, in whole or in part, to a marital asset. If one of you has significant assets coming into the marriage that you want to keep separate, it may be wise to spell that out in an agreement.

Does either of you want to preserve assets for children from a previous marriage?

When one or both of the couple have children from a previous marriage, it is only reasonable that they would want to make sure the children are provided for in the event there is a divorce. They might also want to make sure certain family property stays in the hands of the children from the previous marriage. If either of you have children it is probably a good idea to talk to a Dallas family law attorney about how to protect your assets for their benefit.

Do either of you own a business?

In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, a business owner could find himself or herself in the position of losing all or part of an established business in the event of a divorce. Spelling out how the ownership of a business will be handled is a common reason for seeking a premarital agreement.

Contact a Dallas Family Law Attorney for Help

If you are on the fence as to whether a premarital agreement is in your best interest, a consultation with Dallas family law attorney Michael P. Granata might be in order. Call 214-977-9050 or reach out to us online today.