People sign prenuptial agreements for many different personal reasons. In some cases, a prior divorce is what motivates someone to sign a marital contract with their spouse. Other times, spouses need very clear rules for how they should handle their income if they divorce to make the marriage as fair as possible.
For those who already have valuable property in their own name, a prenuptial agreement can be a way to preserve separate property and reduce conflict should a divorce eventually occur.
Separate property does not have complete legal protection
Many people learn the basics of the community property statute in Texas and make the mistake of becoming complacent. They assume that the property they owned before they got married will remain their separate property when they divorce. They might also believe that any inheritance or gifts they received during the marriage will remain their separate property if they divorce.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. People can endanger what should be separate property by commingling it with marital resources. Giving a spouse access to separate property or control over it could lead to claims against those assets during a divorce. So could the use of marital funds to improve or maintain separate property.
A prenuptial agreement can reduce the chances that a spouse may raise claims of commingling in an attempt to seize control over what should remain the separate property of one spouse in the divorce. Ideally, each spouse may have certain assets, such as real property or retirement accounts, that they wish to protect with a prenuptial agreement.
Recognizing that theoretically separate property could still be vulnerable in a divorce might inspire someone to discuss a prenuptial agreement with their fiance.