Getting married is very exciting, but it can also be a little scary if you have assets you’d like to protect. Of course, no one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced, but unfortunately, divorce is very common. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, about 40-50% of married couples in the United States get divorced at some point.
With those odds, it’s no wonder why so many newlyweds choose to get premarital agreements (also known as prenups). Here are five things you should know regarding premarital agreements:
#1 - Prenups are not just for rich people.
You might think you don’t need a prenup because you don’t consider yourself rich.
While they are very important for high net worth folks to have, you don’t have to be rich to get a prenup. If you have assets of your own that you’d like to protect, you may want to consider having a premarital agreement drafted.
#2 - The document should be fair to both parties.
The prenup must be fair to both you and your spouse. You will each need your own attorney, and you both must fully disclose all of your assets. It’s important for each of you to think through what your goals are in relation to the prenup and then to discuss them openly.
#3 - Plan ahead of the marriage.
If you’re considering a prenup, it’s a good idea to give your soon-to-be spouse a heads up long before you say, “I do.” The last thing you want is for your spouse to think you don’t trust them days before your wedding. And the closer to the wedding the prenup is signed, the greater the chance it could be found to be invalid by a Court, based on the argument that it wasn’t signed voluntarily.
#4 - Children can’t be included.
You may not provide for your children through a premarital agreement. It cannot ensure or limit child support or rights regarding children. You’re not allowed to bargain using your kids’ rights.
#5 - Prenups can set the terms for spousal support (called "maintenance" in Texas).
Most prenups either waive or do not address spousal support. If you choose to waive it, that means you won’t be able to seek it from your spouse if you get divorced.
If you decide not to address spousal support in the prenup, then you or your spouse have the opportunity to pursue it in a divorce (if you meet various other requirements of Texas law).
If you are getting married and would like to arrange a premarital agreement, we can help. Similarly, if you are already married, we can help you draft a postmarital agreement. Don’t delay — contact our office right away to discuss your options with one of our skilled family and divorce attorneys.