Prenuptial agreements in Texas

Texas is a community property state but a prenuptial agreement can outline a different way of dividing assets in a divorce.

Upon getting engaged to be married, many couples in Texas turn their attention to the task of planning their weddings and honeymoons. Consideration of making a prenuptial agreement is frequently not on the radar screen yet it really should be. It is no longer true that only people who are very rich should have prenups. Today's marital contracts really can and do offer something for every couple.

What can a prenup include?

The Texas Statutes outline all of the details of what a prenuptial agreement can cover by law. This includes far more than simply who will get what asset if a couple eventually gets divorced. A prenup, for example, may provide one spouse with the right to transfer an asset, purchase it from the other spouse, sell or even lease an item. Prenups can also be used to allocate responsibility for debts.

Spousal support clauses are allowed in prenuptial agreements in Texas and these may be highly beneficial to people in marriages where one person makes a significantly larger sum of money than the other. Forbes adds that these clauses can also be useful in marriages where one person chooses to quit working in order to stay at home to raise the family's children.

Provisions for what will happen to assets or debts upon the death of one spouse may also be included in a prenuptial agreement. This allows prenups to become part of an overall estate plan for a couple.

What is not allowed to be included in a prenuptial agreement?

Texas law prevents the inclusion of any provisions for child support in a prenuptial agreement.

Provisions that may be deemed unconscionable by a court could lead to the nullification of a prenup. There is some discretion about how to identify an unconscionable clause but this may include proving that one person was coerced into signing the prenup against his or her will. If it is later discovered that one person failed to fully disclose all assets during the development of a prenup that could also lead to the identification of an unconscionable and therefore void prenuptial contract.

Do I need an attorney when creating a prenup?

It is always best to consult with an attorney when developing any contract, including a prenuptial agreement. All such contracts must be in writing and each party should have individual representation to ensure all clauses are fair and both person's interests are properly addressed.