Arlington Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
Celebrity prenuptial agreements often make the front page of the newspapers with absurd conditions and expectations of what will happen if the parties ever get divorced. However, prenuptial agreements are not just reserved for the famous and rich. Prenuptial agreements are tools that anyone who is considering getting married should think about having. Because just as many celebrity marriages end in divorce, so do many marriages between everyday people. Prenuptial agreements are a way of protecting your assets in the event that your marriage doesn’t end the way you thought it would.
If you are considering marriage and would like to talk about creating a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets in the event of a divorce, one of our attorneys is ready to help answer your questions and explain how a prenuptial agreement may be beneficial to you. To set up a free legal consultation about your family law matter, call the Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
When a couple decides to take the next step in their relationship they may have a lot of questions and concerns about their property and assets. A prenuptial agreement is a way for a couple who is contemplating marriage to address some of these questions and concerns from the outset. A prenuptial agreement is a contract that a couple makes in contemplation of marriage that becomes effective upon marriage. Prenuptial agreements can contain many provisions and address:
- 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 another arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
- the ownerships 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.
Arguably the most important feature of a prenuptial agreement is to label property as either community property or separate property. Community property is all earnings of both of the spouses during the course of the marriage. In addition, property that is acquired by the spouses during the course of the marriage is considered community property. On the other hand, separate property is property owned before marriage, or acquired during the marriage as a gift, through inheritance, or as part of a personal injury settlement.
Requirements For a Valid Agreement
- In writing – one of an essential requirements if not the most essential requirement of a prenuptial agreement is that it is in writing. Prenuptial agreements that are oral or verbal are not enforceable. The reasons behind this requirement has to do with authenticity and honesty. If agreements of this importance were not written down it would be very easy for either party to say that the other promise to give them a piece of property or say that they did not. This would leave the judge with the unenviable task of trying to figure out what the parties had said and what they intended. Rather than exhausting our legal officials, Texas law requires that for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable, it needs to be in writing.
- Executed before the parties get married – This rule goes to the heart of a prenuptial agreement specifically, the suffix “pre”. If the parties enter into an agreement while they are already married then there is a whole different series of laws that apply and the agreement would not truly be a prenuptial agreement, because the parties are already married.
- Fully disclose their assets and liabilities – Both partners are required to disclose all of their assets as well as their liabilities before they execute an effective and valid prenuptial agreement.
- Be reviewed by independent attorneys – It is important that if the parties are truly going to evaluate their assets and liabilities that they need to have an independent attorney review the prenuptial agreement. It is unethical for a lawyer to review a prenuptial agreement for both spouses.
- Entered into voluntarily – It is essential to an effective prenuptial agreement that the parties enter into the agreement voluntarily. If the agreement is not mutually agreed upon, then it can be set aside in court.
In addition, there are events and situations which cannot be reduced in a prenuptial agreement such as provisions that limit child support rights. While the above requirements if not met may be the basis of setting aside the entire prenuptial agreement, provisions that are against public policy or limit child support may not be enforceable, however, may leave other parts of the prenuptial agreement in full force and effect.
Have Questions and Want to Speak With an Arlington, Texas Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer?
To set up a free legal consultation about drafting, enforcing, or modifying a prenuptial agreement, call the Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797. With more than 20 years of legal experience successfully representing clients throughout Texas, our attorneys are always eager to put our knowledge and skill to work for you.