Most residents of Texas who are considering marriage may also be wondering about signing a prenuptial agreement. The mere act of signing such a contract seems contrary to the emotions of love and affection that are generally thought to characterize the marital celebration. Nevertheless, a prenuptial agreement can be a valuable aid in preserving those feelings as the marriage progresses.
Prenuptial agreements provide the greatest benefit to couples who have widely disparate amounts of assets or whose incomes are widely disparate. A prenuptial agreement settles many income and property division disputes before they even arise. Unresolved tension about these issues can threaten a marriage, and a prenuptial agreement eliminates the conflict before it begins.
Texas law states that a prenuptial agreement is a written contract in which the couple includes their agreement about issues that may arise in a divorce. Issues that are commonly included are alimony and division of assets. Other issues that might be included are division of retirement accounts and non-residential real estate. In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable, the document must satisfy certain criteria. Most importantly, it must be read and signed by both parties before the wedding takes place. Both parties must make a complete and accurate financial disclosure prior to the signing. Both parties must also attest that they have had the opportunity to consult an attorney before signing the agreement. A prenuptial agreement can be modified by the parties after the marriage. Prenuptial agreements can be complicated legal contracts, and they have the power to affect both parties’ legal rights and obligations.