Texas Prenuptial Agreements

When you're engaged to be married there are myriad decisions to make. One of the possibilities is the choice of entering into a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a contract that establishes the rights and responsibilities of the couple and is generally associated with what happens to the property in the event of a divorce. However, the contract can cover many issues. Because the agreement is made between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage, it's triggered by the marriage and takes effect at that time.

Texas Prenuptial Agreements at a Glance

Because statutes contain very detailed and specific language, the literal interpretation is best handled by a skilled legal professional. However, a lay person can benefit from reading a synopsis with basic terms. The chart below provides a summary of laws related to Texas' prenuptial agreements including links to the relevant statutes.

Statutes

Content

Texas law dictates the appropriate content for prenuptial agreements.

What can be included in the prenuptial agreement:

  • Division of property in case of separation, divorce, or death;
  • The right to: buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
  • Spousal support changes or elimination of support;
  • The making of a will, trust, or other arrangements to carry out the agreement terms;
  • The ownership rights in and distribution of the death benefit from a life insurance policy; and
  • Choice of law decisions for the agreement.

What can't be included:

  • Any matter that involves criminal activity or is against public policy; and
  • Any terms that adversely affect a child's rights for child support.

Amendment/ Revocation

After marriage, you can make changes to the prenuptial agreement only by a written agreement between the parties. The amended agreement or revocation is enforceable without consideration.

Enforcement

There are numerous reasons why a prenuptial agreement may be invalid. If the enforceability of the agreement is in question, the party must prove that they didn't sign the agreement voluntarily. Or that the agreement was unconscionable when they signed it and before signing the agreement, the party:

  • Didn't receive disclosure of the property/ financial obligations of the other party;
  • Didn't waive (in writing) their right to the disclosure of the other party's obligations; and
  • Didn't have or reasonably couldn't have had knowledge of the other party's obligations.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Texas Prenuptial Agreements: Related Resources

Discuss Prenuptial Agreements with an Experienced Texas Attorney

The discussion surrounding prenuptial agreements can be challenging, but it can be a viable option to explore. If you're contemplating a prenuptial agreement in Texas, you should consider meeting with an experienced attorney before you act. Contact a local family law attorney today.

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