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The Truth About Prenuptial Agreements in Texas

cake-topper wedding couple and a pre-nuptial agreement

The coronavirus threw a wrench in everyone’s 2020 plans. The inability to congregate in large groups, for one, caused many to cancel upcoming weddings. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, then you may feel as if you’re in some sort of limbo. But there is a silver lining to this entire situation; you have more time to plan your joint accordingly. This is where prenuptial agreements come into play. Perhaps you were planning on signing one but never got around to do it. Well, now’s your chance to start your married life off on the right foot. Let Quiñonez Law Firm provide the prenup assistance you and your future spouse require!

Prenuptial Agreements 101

A prenuptial agreement (also known as “prenups”) can be a point of contention for couples who are planning on tying the knot. Some may see a prenup as early seeds of doubt in the strength of their future marriage, while others simply see it as a simple failsafe in case anything happens in the future. Regardless of your stance on prenups, we will provide simple facts so you can make your own decisions. 

In the state of Texas, a prenup is simply an agreement between two individuals before they get married that contractually determines their property. In the event of a divorce, the prenup will be used as a guide to determine how property is treated. Without a prenup in place, a divorce can get quite messy, even in the state of Texas. Any property you own before marriage remains your property but if you and your spouse bought a vehicle or even a home whilst married, then determining how these assets are split will be a difficult, arduous process. 

Community Property vs Separate Property

Prior to saying your vows, everything you own—including assets and salaries—is considered “separate property.” Upon getting married, however, any new property or income obtained during your marriage will be defined as “community property” which is jointly owned by both spouses. 

There’s a long-running cliché of wealthy and successful individuals signing prenups before getting married as the avoidance of a prenup can make the divorce process difficult. Perhaps you’ve heard of Dave Foley, famous Canadian comedian and member of the infamous improv troupe, The Kids in the Hall. Upon divorcing his first wife in 1997, he was ordered to pay $17,700 a month in child support. In his own words, “literally 400 percent of [his] income.” A prenuptial agreement might’ve made the stipulations of the divorce and child support much more bearable on Foley who, to this day, is facing the ramifications of his first marriage’s dissolution.

So, Is a Prenup Worth It?

There are quite a few positive reasons to get a prenup, not all of which are purely based on “greed,” as some might assume. For instance, a prenup can bolster the financial strength of your marriage. If, for instance, you or your spouse have quite a bit of debt and not much in regards to income, then it might be best to sign a prenuptial agreement so the debt-free spouse income remains separate property. Prenups are also useful when determining property distribution upon the death of a spouse, as the community property may go to the spouse’s family or children from another marriage. Again, these instances may be more specific to your unique situation, which is why it’s best to speak with a lawyer in order for all your questions and concerns to be answered.

Simply put, a prenup will keep your finances separate. It will also explain how you (or your spouse) plans to provide for children from prior relationships, establishes property rights, and defines financial responsibilities during marriage. Determining if a prenup is worth it in your situation requires some deep thinking and possibly uncomfortable conversations but, in the end, it may save you and your spouse from a lot of headaches. 

What If We Don’t Get a Prenup?

As stated previously, not every marriage requires a prenup. They are beneficial in certain scenarios, including if you’re entering a marriage with an individual who already has children from a past relationship or if you own a business or have a large inheritance, but the benefits and potentially difficult conversations may not be worth it if neither you nor your spouse has much in terms of assets or wealth. It’s a bit of a difficult topic to touch on, as it wholly depends on your personal choices. If you’re unsure about which path to take, then we can help. 

Contact Quiñonez Law Firm, Today!

Although the COVID-19 vaccine is finally here, the world may not return to normal until late spring or early summer. This provides enough time to plan your wedding and future accordingly. If you’re preparing to reschedule your wedding, then you can use this interim time to discuss the possibility of signing a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse. Contact the Quiñonez Law Firm if you have any questions relating to prenups, marriage law, or anything else. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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