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Specialty tag(s): Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Should You Say “I Do” to a Premarital Agreement
Kristen A. Algert | January 1, 2019
The wedding day is fast-approaching: the venue is secured, friends and family members have made travel plans, and most of the details have been completed. You are ready to rest, relax, and enjoy the days leading up to this milestone event. But then, your soon-to-be-spouse presents you with a premarital agreement to sign. What should you do?
Texas has allowed people about to marry to enter into premarital agreements for many years. In the last five years though, we have seen a significant increase in the number of couples who request premarital agreements. What do you do if you are presented one to sign?
Before you sign a premarital agreement, ask yourself the following questions:
- Was this a mutual decision?
- How much do you know about your partner’s finances?
- What are you and/or your partner trying to protect?
- Do you know anything about Texas community property laws?
- What is in it for you?
These questions are significant because the Texas Family Code sets out the exclusive remedies and defenses available to enforce premarital agreements. As tempting as it is to just sign the document so you can refocus on the upcoming wedding, you would be wise to pause. You cannot later invalidate an agreement because you changed your mind or you did not understand the law or the provisions of the agreement.
Premarital agreements can be a simple as each person confirming what property they bring into the marriage and as complex as eliminating any community estate and dictating what happens in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse. The primary purpose of a premarital agreement is to modify Texas’ community property laws. Modifying the law impacts not only the financial aspects of any future divorce but also impacts estate planning.
Before saying “I Do” to a premarital agreement, meet with a competent Austin premarital agreement attorney and get the facts and the law governing these documents.
Kris Algert is one of the most experienced Collaborative Family Lawyers in Austin and has been named Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” for Collaborative Law in the Austin area in 2013, 2016, 2018, and 2020. She is a Master Credentialed Collaborative Professional by Collaborative Divorce Texas, is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and is known for her respectful, constructive problem-solving approach to helping clients move forward with confidence after divorce.
To learn if a premarital agreement is the right solution for you, please contact Kris Algert at 512-454-8791.
Article original featured in Austin Woman Magazine.