What You Need to Know about Prenups in Texas
If you are moving toward marriage, the last thing you want to contemplate is divorce, which might leave you with the impression that a prenuptial agreement is a bad omen, to begin with. The fact is, however, having a prenup – as they are often called – in no way means that your marriage is more likely to end in divorce. The truth is that a well-considered prenuptial agreement can help establish important financial considerations in the event of a divorce, including protecting your children's inheritance if the marriage is not your first. People enter into prenuptial agreements for myriad reasons, but there are some basic requirements that universally apply and that are wise to consider.
Your Prenup Must Be Signed Before You Marry
Prenuptial agreements are legal contracts that are created prior to marriage and that are executed upon marriage, which means that once you are married, it is too late to enter into a prenuptial agreement. Additionally, even if you enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, it may not be binding if you and your soon-to-be spouse were living together under conditions that constitute a common law marriage at the time.
Your Prenup Must Be Entered into Voluntarily
If your prenup was not entered into voluntarily by both of you, it could be invalidated. The dividing line between voluntarily signing a prenup and involuntarily doing so, however, can be tricky. Consider the following:
If you determine – after the fact – that signing your prenup was a mistake, this will not invalidate your signature (as long as your signature was voluntary, to begin with).
If your spouse-to-be pressures you into signing the prenup by saying that he or she will not marry you without it, your signature is still considered voluntary.
Conversely, if your soon-to-be spouse changes a term or terms within the prenup without your knowledge prior to obtaining your signature, your signature may well be considered involuntary.
Prenups May be Declared Unconscionable
When it comes to prenups, a term (or terms) that is extremely unfair to one party is considered unconscionable, and it can weaken the prenup’s validity – or can entirely invalidate the contract. If you do sign off on such a term, however, there is a chance that the prenup will be upheld.
Your Prenup Should Be Written with Care
There is no one-size-fits-all prenup. Your prenuptial agreement must address your unique marriage and your unique financial concerns, which means that you need the professional legal counsel of an accomplished divorce attorney on your side. An overly broad or general prenuptial agreement is unlikely to do you any favors if the day ever comes that it needs to be enforced.
An Experienced Killeen Divorce Attorney Is on Your Side
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a dedicated divorce attorney with ample experience crafting solid prenuptial agreements and defending the financial rights of clients like you. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.