Does a Prenup Protect Future Assets?
There’s never a good time for bad news. Between chaotic work deadlines, that car light sensor that didn’t turn off after the tuneup and the master bedroom’s clogged sink, you’re in a haze throughout the week. Last thing anyone wants to ponder: prenups and “Does a prenup protect future assets?”
This is actually a question we hear often because the future is so unpredictable. Much to our dismay, we simply cannot foresee what circumstances life has to unfold. One day, everything is peachy and good with your spouse, and then the next day, you’re signing the divorce papers. So it might be beneficial to learn more about prenups future assets and future income, as well as getting answers to all your prenup questions.
What is a prenup?
You never thought you’d be here and neither did your spouse, and it’s in this exact moment when you realize that you wished you had signed a prenuptial agreement. But even if you have, questions and unknowns often persist. What can you protect in a prenup? Can a prenup protect future inheritance? Can a prenup protect my pension?
With that in mind, I thought we should tackle the core of what a prenup is before diving into, “Does a prenup protect future assets?” It’s always helpful to understand the basics.
A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract between you and your spouse filed before marriage. The document lists all of the property each of you individually own and all of the property each of you will own if the marriage unexpectedly ends.
What can you protect in a prenup?
Also, before we get into, “Does a prenup protect future assets?”, it’s also useful to understand how prenups can protect current assets. A prenuptial agreement in Texas may come in many different shapes and sizes.
It can protect everything from large and expensive assets like real estate, vehicles or expensive jewelry to smaller and less expensive items that may carry sentimental value for one of the parties—grandma’s pearl necklace is safe. Without a prenup determining ownership of the larger and more expensive assets, this can be a complicated process that takes significant time and energy. (See also: In a Texas divorce, who gets the house?)
Prenups also outline the agreements of potential instances. For example, a prenup could say that if Spouse A admits to cheating on Spouse B, Spouse A has to pay Spouse B a specified dollar amount. Or if Spouse A has $X,XXX in personal debt, it is up to that person to pay off the debt in the event of a divorce.
What can't be protected in a prenup?
There are a few things that prenups cannot touch on, regardless if both parties agree to it. The best example of that is the fact that prenups cannot outline child support. The court will refer to Texas state law for the child support arrangement.
Does a prenuptial agreement protect future assets or income?
So, does a prenup protect future assets? Short answer: yes.
Long answer: It’s complicated. Yes, a prenup can protect future assets, but the future assets need to be explicitly detailed in the agreement or else the court can waive any vague verbiage that doesn’t specifically outline who the ownership goes to. And it’s also worth noting that just as a prenup can protect future assets or income, it can also outline future debts.
How can I protect my assets without a prenup?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your assets will be protected without a prenup. This is even the case for what may appear as a relatively straightforward no-fault divorce in Texas. Trying to slide by without a prenup can quickly expose you to some rude surprises in typical divorce proceedings. For example, lying about income to avoid child support is just one of the few unfortunate things that may happen during a divorce. A better question to ask is how to best protect yourself in a prenup.
Do I need to get a lawyer for a prenuptial agreement?
Yes! Every prenuptial agreement is different, and it all depends on the spouses’ unique situations. As such, it is a good idea to get a skilled Houston family law attorney to help you draft an agreement that is as specific and clear as it needs to be.
No one should have to draft a prenup completely on their own, and only a skilled lawyer will be able to help you answer the tough questions and anticipate unexpected twists and turns. Request a free consultation and get in touch with our team who are experts in family law and at drafting prenuptial agreements.