Do I Need a Prenup in Texas?
Too often people do not obtain a prenuptial agreement or “prenup” because they believe it is betting on the marriage to fail. In actuality, a prenup should be thought of like a life insurance policy. You don’t buy life insurance because you plan to die early - you buy it to have in place in the event that you die early. You aren’t planning to get divorced, but divorces are common and therefore it is smart to have a prenuptial agreement in place in case you need it.
In Texas, a prenuptial agreement is called a premarital agreement - and it is absolutely essential to protecting your current and future assets. Perhaps you are coming into the marriage with a lot of your own property, or maybe you are planning to be a stay at home parent without income. You may want to keep specific property assets separate upon divorce, or need to ensure some amount of alimony if the marriage doesn’t work out. No matter the situation, both spouses benefit from the protection of a prenup. A premarital agreement allows you both to agree on what should be considered community and separate property, what spousal maintenance would be required in the event of a divorce, and more. A highly customized premarital agreement can address these concerns in detail to suit your individual and collective needs.
Is Texas a Community Property State?
A premarital agreement is especially important in Texas because it is a community property state. Community property is anything acquired during the marriage, except for gifts, inheritance, or other assets left to you in a will. Community property is subject to division by a judge, which means your spouse has a joint interest in your assets by default, and could be awarded those assets in a divorce. Everything you own - whether obtained prior to marriage or during, and no matter how you received it - will be presumed community property in Texas unless you prove otherwise using clear and convincing evidence. All types of property, real estate, business interests, investments, and retirement accounts are presumed to be and could become a part of the marital estate, unless you protect your assets with a prenup.
How is Separate Property Treated in Texas?
Separate property in Texas is any property you acquired prior to marriage, or any property acquired during the marriage by gift, inheritance or other assets left to you in a will. However, the income earned from separate property and the increases in value of separate property can still be considered or treated as community property. When determining separate property it is important to address tracing principals, mixed use or mixed character accounts, reimbursement claims, Jensen claims, and more. Our law office in Austin can help you understand these details and create a prenuptial agreement that protects your separate property and assets.
Can a Texas Prenup Include Alimony?
Prenups can also outline alimony in Texas, which is referred to as spousal maintenance. Spousal support or maintenance can be ordered to be paid temporarily during the divorce proceedings and/or for a certain amount of time after the divorce. In a premarital agreement, spousal maintenance should be addressed so that there are no surprises.
Can a Prenup in Texas be Contested?
It is important to know that there are some pitfalls in Texas law that can poke holes in premarital agreements rather easily. The law provides avenues for spouses to set aside or contest a premarital agreement. At the Law Office of Brandon Bledsoe, we have successfully defended premarital agreements many times. We know the loopholes and how to close them using a three-step process that keeps your assets safe. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you with all aspects of simple and complex premarital agreements in Texas.
Contact our office online or call us at 512-944-3329 today for a free consultation about your Texas prenuptial agreement options.