Many people assume a premarital agreement, also commonly known as “prenuptial agreements” in other states, means that the couple getting married is also planning for when they get a divorce. In reality, a prenuptial agreement promotes communication between the engaged couple and can be viewed as a pathway to how they plan to handle their finances in their marriage.
A young couple just starting out and getting married for the first time, with few individual assets, likely do not need a premarital agreement. Ideal candidates for a premarital agreement include:
A newly engaged couple talking about a premarital agreement will require the couple to have a detailed discussion about finances that the couple may not have otherwise discussed. They learn from each other how they make financial decisions, if they are savers or spenders, and what all assets are. In order for a prenup to be valid in Texas, each party must provide full disclosure of all their assets and financial accounts to his/her partner.
A premarital agreement can be compared to a life insurance policy that people purchase with the hope they will never need to benefit from it but if they do, they are glad they have it in place. An agreement can also save thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees and litigation in a divorce and once it is formalized, it can later be part of their divorce documents if necessary.
For a premarital agreement to be valid in Texas, it must not have been made under duress. This means there should be time between the preparation of the prenup and the marriage that one party cannot say they were forced to sign the premarital agreement or else not get married. A good rule of thumb is to allow 60 days between the signing of the prenup and the marriage.
Each party must have their own attorney who will review the document, assure there was full disclosure, and that the document is fair.
A prenup cannot determine child custody or child support. Those are issues for a court to decide and any provisions in a prenup that attempts to limit child support could possibly invalidate the entire agreement.
For answers to your questions about how you can benefit from a premarital agreement, call or contact us at Martinez Legal, P.C. We have been drafting these types of agreements for more than a decade and can help you understand how this process can benefit you before you say, “I do.”