When you marry, your thoughts are not on divorce, and thinking of divorce in the buildup to a marriage feels wrong, which is only one of the reasons that prenuptial agreements have a bad reputation. Prenuptial agreements, however, are not an exit plan and do not in any way increase the likelihood that you will divorce. In fact, a well-considered and thoughtfully executed prenuptial agreement can help protect your financial assets in the event that you do divorce (and divorce does happen).
An important point to make is that a prenuptial agreement that attempts to hammer down outrageous assurances is not going to be enforceable by the courts, and the idea that prenuptial agreements can help people get away with something illegal is ill-founded. In other words, a prenuptial agreement is merely a legal tool that you may want to consider prior to marriage, and an experienced Lampasas County divorce attorney can help you with that.
There Are Things a Prenup Cannot Address
Prenuptial agreements have no magical qualities. Instead, they are straightforward legal contracts that must adhere to all the strict rules and regulations that apply to legal contracts. Prenuptial agreements are not legal catchalls that allow one spouse to get one over on the other, and there are specific things that a prenup simply can never address. Consider the following:
A prenuptial agreement cannot address either child custody arrangements or child support. These are based on the best interests of the children involved, which cannot be established before the fact.
A prenuptial agreement cannot be employed in an attempt to offload one’s debts or tax obligations.
A prenuptial agreement cannot massage in anything illegal – or even shady – and attempting to do so can leave the entire contract unenforceable.
Prenuptial Agreements Generally Address the Division of Marital Assets
In a Texas divorce, those assets that you and your spouse acquire during your married years is called marital property, and in the event of divorce, this property must be divided equitably between the two of you, which means divided fairly (when you take wide-ranging and highly specific factors into careful consideration). If one of you enters the marriage with considerable assets (or debt) and/or is a much higher earner than the other, a prenuptial agreement can help you address the matter. For example, a prenup can establish that separate property is indeed separate, but it cannot unfairly cut the other out of any increase in value in this separate property over the course of the marriage.