There are many benefits to a prenuptial, or premarital, agreement. Without a marital property agreement, Texas law provides that a judge shall divide a community estate “in a manner that the court deems just and right having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.” By executing a prenuptial, or premarital, agreement, the spouses have control of the division of the marital estate. A prenup can specify that each spouse receives 50% of the community or marital estate, that each keeps all that he or she has acquired or anything in between. The importance is that the spouses maintain control and are not dependent on a Judge or arbitrator in litigation.
Prenuptial Agreement Benefits regarding Assets & Business Interests
- Any assets owned by either party prior to marriage are “separate property” and cannot be divided in a divorce. The person claiming to have owned an asset prior to marriage must prove it by clear and convincing evidence. That is a very high burden. After years of marriage, for some types of assets, it can insurmountable. A prenup can be a written record of what each spouse owned prior to marriage.
- Income produced by separate property is community property and, without a marital agreement, can be divided by a judge or arbitrator.
- In the event of divorce, a prenup can protect an interest in a business so that it is not divided and/or subject to the control or involvement of a former spouse.
Prenuptial Agreement Benefits for Children
- In the event of the death of a spouse, a prenup can be a means of ensuring that one’s children avoid arguments about the right of the surviving spouse to remain in the house or whether he or she must vacate.
- Inheritance rights of children and grandchildren can be protected with a prenup. Without a prenup agreement, a spouse could receive assets or money meant for the children. Many couples work together for the good of their children after separating. However, in the event of a blended family, a prenup can stop a spouse from taking assets or property and denying them to other spouse’s children.
Prenuptial Agreement Benefits for Alimony / Spousal Support
- Spouses can set a level of alimony or support that one will pay the other upon divorce.
- Spouses can agree to waive all alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance in a prenup.
A divorce can be stressful and can create numerous conflicts. A prenuptial agreement can greatly reduce the stress. The process becomes a great deal simpler. A divorce can also cost thousands of dollars, however, a prenup written by an experienced family law attorney can substantially reduce those financial costs.