It’s the stuff of a thousand movies and television sit-coms: the prenuptial agreement, or, the “prenup”. In Texas, couples who are considering getting married are required to get a marriage license from a county clerk, which has a validity of 30 days. The couple has to get married within this time period. It is also during this time period that many couples decide to sign a prenup with each other.
Many people consider a marriage with a prenup as doomed to fail, however, this is a negative connotation. Think of a prenup as simply a safeguard for your interests and your property, should the marriage not work out. There are millions of happy marriages out there with a prenup; they simply exist to give the couple peace of mind should the unthinkable happen.
In general, prenuptial agreements contain the provisions of the couple with regards to their property and assets in the event of a divorce. Simply put, it clearly delineates what the couples own during and after a marriage. However, a prenuptial agreement does not only contain terms regarding property. It can also contain the agreement of a couple regarding property or assets in case of death, incarceration or other circumstances which would prevent one or both parties in managing their assets after divorce or separation.Why Should I get a Prenuptial Agreement?
The biggest advantage of getting a prenuptial agreement is saving yourself from whatever possible legal headache you might encounter in the future. Again, having a prenuptial is not tantamount to saying that your marriage will not last, but the same argument can be said for having insurance. It’s not tantamount to saying that you’re definitely going to get into an accident in the future, but it’s good to know that if it does happen, you have a financial safety net. It’s the same idea for the prenuptial agreement. If you have significant assets, property, or other financial holdings, you may want to take steps to protect them. Keep in mind that without a prenuptial agreement, all assets and properties acquired after marriage become community and it places the burden on your to prove and “trace” your separate property. If you get a divorce, your ex-spouse will be presumed to be legally entitled to half of all of the community estate.Requirement for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
According to Texas law, the following requirements must be fulfilled in order for your prenuptial agreement to be valid and legally binding:
- Both parties must sign a formal agreement in the presence of several witnesses .Oral prenuptial agreements are not admissible in Texas;
- Both parties must declare their assets and properties fully;
- Both parties Should have legal representation in the form of their lawyers. This will help prevent the “setting-aside” of a prenup based on one spouse’s lack of understanding of the document;
- Both parties must have consented to the prenuptial agreement of their own free will and not be coerced or under duress to sign the prenuptial agreement.
Texas prenuptial attorney Daniella Lyttle at the Lyttle Law Firm can explain your legal rights and options. Remember, this is your financial safety net. Attorney Lyttle will help you draft up a prenuptial agreement that will protect you and your interests.