Central Texas Premarital Property Agreement Lawyers
A prenup is a contract that defines what happens to income and assets in the event of a divorce. Our law firm represents individuals in premarital agreements. Many people refer to these agreements as “prenups.” But Texas law refers to them as a “premarital agreement.” To discuss your prenuptial matter with an experienced Central Texas attorney, contact one of our family law attorneys at 254-753-6437.
Texas Premarital Agreements in General
Premarital agreements are contracts. Written agreements that are entered into between couples before they are married. Neither spouse needs to be represented by a lawyer. Couples use premarital agreements to avoid disputes about property ownership and the division of financial assets in the event of a divorce. Premarital agreements are commonly used by couples entering a second marriage, as they want to make clear definitions of separate property. Some couples are combining new households and want to protect children or other relatives from a first marriage. Others may receive income or spousal support from a past marriage and would like to make sure such income remains separate property.
However, this does not mean that couples entering their first marriage are banned from entering into what is commonly referred to as a “prenup.” People typically use premarital agreements to preserve assets owned before the marriage or distribute debts to a spouse in a divorce.
Generally, Texas family courts recognize prenuptial agreements if the parties:
- had independent counsel in creating the agreement,
- were aware of their rights regarding property division under Texas law, mostly if they agree to waive such rights,
- agreed freely and voluntarily; and
- were aware of each other’s income and that full disclosure had been made or waived.
Pros of Prenups – Clear Communication
Since financial strife is the main reason for divorce, talking to your spouse ahead of time about finances can help in avoiding future disagreements over asset management. Of course, prenups are not the most romantic topic for discussion, frequently because it invites the thought that your relationship could end badly. However, discussing these issues creates healthy communication, sets clear expectations for financial harmony, and breaks down potential barriers that may limit your relationship. Even if you and your spouse decide a prenup is not for you, discussing it is an excellent idea.
Cons of Prenups – Rocking the Boat
But prenups have their drawbacks. Some people open the topic entirely at the wrong time. It is generally a bad idea to propose a prenup soon before a wedding. A prenup may also uncover other flaws in the relationship (other than a significant income disparity).
Limitations of Prenups
While you may agree on many financial and property issues through a prenup, it cannot include child support or child custody designations. Only family courts may make final determinations on these issues. Likewise, custody is determined by using the “best interest of the child” standard, where the court considers the number of factors to determine where the child will live and which parent may make decisions for the child.
Texas Law on Prenups
The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which was written by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law in 1983, encourages the enforcement of prenuptial agreements. The exact UPAA standards differ from state to state, just like other divorce laws. The following is the Texas state statutes regarding premarital and prenuptial agreements and how they are considered and enforced by the Texas court.
Why choose Dunnam & Dunnam for your prenup?
Our skillful Waco prenuptial agreement lawyers do not just draft many prenuptial agreements, but we also litigate their enforcement. This trial experience provides our firm with the unique experience to see the pitfalls of invalid prenuptial contracts.
Get a lawyer for your prenup.
To discuss your prenup with an experienced Central Texas prenup lawyer, contact an experienced family law attorney at Dunnam & Dunnam by calling 254-753-6437.
What do clients say about Dunnam & Dunnam’s family law practice?
You can read what our family law clients have to say about us on our family law page. Wacoan Magazine routinely chooses our law firm as the Best in Waco. And the readers also choose us as the best family lawyers. We have three board certified family law attorneys.
Hire a Board Certified Family Law Attorney
Board certified lawyers must have significant experience, before even taking a specialized test to show their expertise in the practice area. Only 900 of the more than 100,000 Texas attorneys are board certified in Family Law. Three of those lawyers are at Dunnam & Dunnam. These lawyers engage and have been certified as specialists by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the practice of Family Law.
Vance has 60 years of experience as a lawyer in Waco, Texas handling all types of cases in both the office and the courtroom.Read More
Merrilee L. Harmon is a Family Law specialist, Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1985.Read More
Our family law team includes many superb attorneys who draft and litigate prenups, including the following attorneys.
Eleeza's practice areas include: Personal Injury Law, Civil Trial Law, Commercial Law, Family Law and Pharmaceutical Law.Read More
Gerald R. Villarrial has practiced family law, criminal law and civil litigation for over 20 years.Read More
Brittany is a member of the McLennan County Bar Association, and McLennan County Young Lawyers Association.Read More
Mason Dunnam is the fourth generation of Dunnam attorneys at the firm since 1925Read More