Spousal abuse or cheating does not void or invalidate a prenuptial or partition agreement unless the agreement specifically states that. Most prenuptial or partition agreements do not mention abuse or cheating. Those agreements include provisions for division of property and, sometimes, spousal support in the event of a divorce. A custom marital agreement can include an infidelity clause, but the ramifications should be carefully considered. It could open both parties to litigation if one believes, or just alleges, the other has been unfaithful. First, basic definitions must be considered.
What is the definition of cheating?
Cheating is difficult to define because people have different perceptions about what is appropriate. Besides the obvious, sexual activity. Some believe it is also unacceptable for a spouse to:
- Chat with strangers on the internet
- Exchange personal photos
- Have a close friendship that might be an emotional affair
Because there is such a wide range of possibly unacceptable conduct, one should discuss general definitions with their spouse or fiance before consulting an attorney. A lawyer can help with specific wording in a prenuptial or partition agreement. A lawyer experienced with marital agreements and family law might help the couple agree generally about the definition before writing the details.
Cheating has not been a crime in Texas for years. In divorce, without a marital property agreement (prenup or postnup) it can still have an effect on property division. A marital agreement can state what happens if adultery occurs. The standard agreement keeps all property separate regardless of why the marriage ends.
What is the definition of spousal abuse?
Before including a provision for abuse in a marital agreement, the couple must think carefully about how that will be defined. Texas defines family violence and child abuse, but not adult abuse in the context of divorce. When a marriage ends by divorce, it will involve arguments. What one considers an intense argument, the other might find abusive. Careful thought must be given before including an abuse provision in a marital agreement. A loose definition will encourage litigation if divorce happens.
The Texas Family Code defines family violence as an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
Domestic violence is a crime in Texas and if convicted, the abusing spouse may face charges ranging from a Class C misdemeanor to a second-degree felony according to the Texas Domestic Violence Statute.
A Custom Prenup By McNamara Law Office
The standard prenuptial and standard partition agreement that McNamara Law Office provides does not mention infidelity or abuse. It keeps all property separate. A custom prenup agreement can include adultery, abuse or violence.
McNamaraLawyers.com offers standard online prenuptial and partition agreements as well as custom marital property agreements. Please call us at 281-358-3444 or email us if you have any questions pertaining to a marital agreement that you would like to purchase.