Negotiating a Prenuptial Agreement in Texas? A Checklist You Can Use
A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is an “agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage” (Tex. Fam. Code § 4.001). If you are considering a prenup, it is imperative that you negotiate an effective, legally enforceable agreement. At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., we have extensive experience handling prenups. Here, our Houston family lawyer provides a checklist for negotiating a prenuptial agreement in Texas.
- Know the Goal: A Prenuptial Agreement Should Have a Purpose
Every prenup should begin with a clear understanding of the objectives. Communication is key. Couples should communicate openly and honestly with each other. Further, you should know exactly what you are trying to accomplish with the prenuptial agreement. When you know the goal, you can tailor the prenup to effectively achieve your goals.
- Make Comprehensive Financial Disclosure
Full transparency about each party’s assets and liabilities is paramount. Both parties must disclose their complete financial picture to ensure that the prenup is founded on honesty and to avoid any future allegations of concealment. In Texas, a prenup could potentially be rendered invalid if comprehensive financial disclosures are not made before the agreement is signed.
- Be as Detailed as Possible With the Assets Being Protected
Details matter. Among other things, you should clearly itemize and describe all assets—from real estate to investment accounts to personal items—that are to be protected by the prenup. The greater the degree of specificity, the more likely the prenup will properly protect your financial interests and achieve your goals.
- Do Not Include Any Illegal Terms (Child Support, Child Custody, etc.)
Texas law mandates that prenups cannot include any terms that are illegal or violate public policy. Most notably, you cannot use a prenup for any issues related to child support or child custody. These are invalid terms in a Texas prenup. Adding them into your agreement can undermine the enforceability of the agreement.
- Ensure Each Party Consults With a Texas Family Law Attorney
Each party should consult with a Texas family law attorney. A family lawyer with experience in Texas prenup laws can ensure that the agreement is in accordance with state legislation and will provide guidance on complex financial matters, safeguarding each party’s legal rights.
- Give the Non-Drafting Party Plenty of Time
A prenup should never be rushed. The non-drafting party must be given ample time to review, consider, and negotiate the terms of the agreement to prevent claims of duress or coercion in the future. Once again, you do not want to do anything that could undermine the enforceability of your prenuptial agreement.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Houston Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Today
At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., our Houston family lawyer provides solutions-driven legal guidance and support to clients. If you have any questions about prenuptial agreements, we are here to help. Contact us today for a confidential consultation. With an office in Houston, we help clients with prenuptial agreement negotiations throughout Southeast Texas.