Like most other states, Texas allows unmarried couples to enter into what the law calls a premarital agreement. Residents of Kaufman County may have heard these agreements referred to as prenuptial agreements or even just prenups.
Additionally, premarital agreements can also set out what happens if one spouse dies or if the couple separates without getting legally split. This is one reason why many Texans use premarital agreements as tools for estate planning or business succession planning.
As is the case with other contracts, provided a premarital agreement is legal, courts will enforce it.
In practice, a family court will divide the property of two divorcing spouses according to what the agreement says. If the agreement is not clear, the court will have to interpret it.
Likewise, a premarital agreement may also spell out whether either spouse is entitled to monetary support, commonly called spousal support or alimony, and on what terms.
However, Texas couples may not use premarital agreements to decide questions about child custody, parenting time and child support. They either will have to agree while their divorce is pending or take their cases to the judge.
A Texas resident may challenge a premarital agreement
Texas law allows a person who entered a premarital agreement to challenge the agreement in court. The person may argue that they did not sign the agreement voluntarily, perhaps because they were lied to or put under undue pressure.
The person may also argue that when they signed, they did not fully understand the other person’s finances and were not given the opportunity to review this information.
A signed premarital agreement can change the outcome of a divorce case in many important respects. It is advisable that someone who signed a prenup and is now considering divorce to understand their legal options.