Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract two parties enter before marriage that can cover a number of issues relating to a couple’s relationship, including how property will be divided, what support will be provided, or custody of children.

The Texas Family Code refers to a prenuptial agreement as a premarital agreement, but the agreement is most often referred to simply as a “prenup.”A premarital agreement is only valid if it is in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement becomes effective as soon as the parties marry.

Lawyer for Prenuptial Agreements in Houston, TX

Are you considering a premarital agreement in Southeast Texas before you get married? You will want to contact [firm] for assistance drafting an agreement that meets all of your needs and protects all of your interests.

Houston divorce attorney Michael Sydow represents clients in communities all over Harris County and Fort Bend County.

Call [phone] today to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation.

Overview of Prenuptial Agreements in Harris County

Texas Laws on Prenuptial Agreements

Under Texas Family Code § 4.001(1), a premarital agreement is defined as “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage.” Texas Family Code § 4.003 establishes that the parties to a premarital agreement can contract with respect to all of the following:

  • the rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;
  • the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
  • the disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
  • the modification or elimination of spousal support;
  • the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
  • the ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
  • the choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
  • any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

The terms included in a premarital agreement are completely up to the parties signing the agreement. In most cases, a premarital agreement addresses property division issues, but nothing is specifically required.

Texas Family Code § 4.005 states that a premarital agreement can be amended or revoked after marriage only by a written agreement signed by the parties. If a marriage is determined to be void, Texas Family Code § 4.007 provides that the “agreement that would otherwise have been a premarital agreement is enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result.”

Voiding a Prenuptial Agreement in Harris County

While premarital agreements may be challenged in court, they are rarely thrown out. Texas recognizes the validity of prenuptial agreements, especially in divorce.

Under Texas Family Code § 4.006(a), a premarital agreement becomes unenforceable if the party against whom enforcement is requested proves that he or she did not sign the agreement voluntarily or the agreement was unconscionable when it was signed and, before signing the agreement, that party:

  • was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
  • did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
  • did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

Texas Family Code § 4.006(b) establishes that an issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement must be decided by the court as a matter of law.

Texas Prenuptial Agreements Resources

Texas Family Code | Chapter 4. Premarital and Marital Property Agreements — View the full text of the chapter of the Texas Family Code dedicated to prenuptial agreements. Subchapter A applies largely to premarital agreements, while Subchapter B relates to marital property agreements. Subchapter C covers agreements to convert separate property to community property.

Before saying ‘I do,’ more millennials say ‘prenup’ — View a November 25, 2016, CNBC article discussing the findings of an American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) study that found 62 percent of lawyers had seen an increase in the total number of clients seeking prenuptial agrrements during the past three years. The article states that increase followed a fivefold increase in prenuptial agreements over the past 20 years. The AAML said the top three areas most commonly covered by marriage contracts were “protection of the increase of value in separate property,” “inheritance rights,” and “community property division.”

Find a Prenuptial Agreements Attorney in Houston, TX

If you are considering a premarital agreement in Southeast Texas, it will be in your best interest to make sure that you retain legal counsel. [firm] represents clients in Houston and many surrounding areas of Fort Bend County and Harris County.

Michael Sydow is an experienced divorce lawyer in Houston who is committed to his clients. Call [phone] or submit an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.