Some people call them prenuptial agreements, while others refer to them as premarital agreements. You may have heard them referred to as prenups. It truly does not matter what you call the legally binding contract that two soon-to-be-married people sign prior to tying the knot. What matters is that you consult an experienced premarital agreement attorney if you are planning to draw up or sign a premarital agreement to ensure that all of your rights are addressed and the contract stands up to any potential challenges in the future.
Many people have their own opinion as to whether people who are getting married should sign a prenuptial agreement or not. Many people think that signing an agreement like this presumes that the marriage is going to fail and sets the marriage up, from the beginning, with a lack of trust. However, in reality, premarital agreements are meant to protect the parties involved, just like any other legal contract or agreement.
Texas Prenuptial Agreements
Texas is considered to be a “community property” state. For a husband and wife, this usually means that income and property that both of the spouses earned or acquired while they were married belongs equally to both of them. If the marriage is dissolved, any savings and property that is currently owned by the couple must be equally divided between the spouses in community property states, even if only one of the spouses worked during the marriage. The same is true for any debts that were incurred while the couple was married.
Texas is a little different, though, from other community property states. Rather than dividing the property 50/50, the courts will divide property in what is considered to be a manner that is “fair and just.” Basically, property division in divorce proceedings in Texas are left up to the judge to decide what is fair. If children are involved in the marriage, division of property will often be lopsided, especially if there are:
- Differences in educational backgrounds of the spouses;
- Disproportional earning abilities of each spouse;
- Differences in age and health of the spouses; and/or
- Special needs of the children and spouse.
In a Texas divorce, the marital property that is being divided is obtainable by either party. Everything the couple owns is up for grabs by either spouse. That is why people seriously consider signing prenuptial agreements before getting married in Texas.
If you need an experienced attorney who has helped clients with drafting and completing prenuptial agreements that protect their interests in the Frisco area of Texas, contact the Law Office of Lauren Cain at (214) 326-4664. Texas attorney Lauren Cain has also ensured that clients obtain the fair division of property during their divorce proceedings. Show up to court with legal representation that has experience and knowledge of the Texas family court laws so that you are not sideswiped by your spouse and left with debts that were not yours or walk away from the table without as much property as you deserve after all of those years of marriage. Once the allocation of property is complete, there is no going back.
Unfair Property Division – Why You Need a Premarital Agreement
This may not seem fair to one of the spouses, especially if they brought more assets to the marriage than the other spouse did. In order for an asset to be kept from the division in the divorce proceedings, the spouse must prove by means of strong and substantial evidence that the asset should be considered separate property. Separate property is any asset that belonged to one spouse prior to the marriage and was kept separate during the course of the marriage. Inheritances, gifts, and settlements and lawsuits payouts are typically treated as separate property.
If a prenuptial agreement is created, and in the event of a divorce, there is no question whether the property is separate property or community property. A prenuptial agreement allows you to decide how your property will be divided if a divorce should occur. For instance, a prenuptial agreement could specify that all of the income that one spouse earns during the marriage will belong to that spouse. Or, the agreement could state that a business that is owned by one of the spouses belongs to only that spouse.
Because premarital agreements can essentially supersede any community property laws that Texas imposes on divorcees, they need to be thorough and all-inclusive. Contact the Law Office of Lauren Cain today to discuss your premarital agreement needs at (214) 326-4664 in a free and confidential consultation.