No matter who or where you are, a prenuptial agreement is a topic that can suck the air out of any room. One of the most uncomfortable things to talk about with your significant other is money. Think: what’s mine, what’s yours, and what’s ours. Ugh. The topic can be so awkward and can feel so confrontational that many couples avoid it altogether. But even so, the reality is that a prenuptial agreement can be beneficial for all parties. We know, because although Thiessen Law Firm does not draft prenups, our family lawyers do handle plenty of divorce cases.
To give you a better grasp of how to navigate this tricky agreement, we have some advice to help you take it face on.
DO: Understand What a Prenup in Texas Does
Many people have the misconception that a Texas prenuptial agreement is a magical get-out-of-jail free card that lets them keep all of their money in the event of a divorce. That’s not quite how it works. In Texas, a prenuptial agreement is a contractual means of dividing property before you wed. When you sign a prenuptial agreement in Texas, you’re only protected from dividing up assets that legally belonged to you prior to your marriage.
Here’s one of the biggest misconceptions about standard prenuptial agreements in Texas: Assets gained as a couple are not protected in a prenup. In other words, you are still required to potentially pay alimony, child support and any other related fees during separation, regardless of the prenuptial agreement.
DON’T: Procrastinate to Bring up a Prenuptial Agreement
One of the biggest anxieties surrounding a Texas prenuptial agreement is knowing how and when to bring it up. The conversation is far from romantic, and no one wants to start a marriage with talks of how it might end. That said, there are plenty of practical reasons that would encourage an individual to initiate a prenuptial agreement discussion, including concerns over the ownership of a business, support/custody of children from a prior marriage, inheritance issues, property ownership and other financial issues. If you know that you’re interested in a prenup, best to bring it up sooner rather than later. Having time to work things through and consider your options will always make for a much smoother experience later.
DO: Hire Separate Lawyers for Your Prenup
Marriage is all about doing things together. But until you officially say “I Do,” it’s important to keep certain things separate. To ensure that things are kept fair and neither person is signing to something they will regret later, each spouse should have their own lawyer when creating and signing a prenup in Texas.
DON’T: Try to Do Anything Shady With Your Prenup
Hopefully, this goes without saying — trying to sneak something in your prenuptial agreement that is illegal or harms your spouse/children is not allowed and can be rendered unenforceable. Prenups in Texas, or any other state, cannot be used to help you escape debt or taxes on previously owned property nor can they be used to preemptively set up unfair alimony or child support.
DO: Hire A Divorce Lawyer Even if You Have a Prenup
Even if you have a prenup, divorce can be a very messy process. At Thiessen Law Firm, our resident expert family law attorney can help navigate the ins and outs of a divorce whether you have a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, or no agreement whatsoever.