In Texas, a couple can enter into a prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, that will later be used to determine property issues which would most likely arise in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can however also be used to determine the division of you or your spouse’s property upon death. A prenup lawyer will be able to recommend the best course of action based on the specific needs of your situation.
In most cases, prenups will be used to determine the classification of property. There are 2 ways to classify property: separate property and community property. Separate property is anything that was owned or acquired before marriage or anything that was acquired by gift, devise, or descent during marriage and would be solely owned by one spouse. Anything that was acquired during marriage would be classified as community property and would be owned by both spouses and would be subject to division upon divorce.
In Texas, there is a presumption that anything that is acquired after marriage will be classified as community property and will be subject to division between both spouses in divorce. A prenup could go against this presumption and classify property as separate property that would otherwise be community property. For example, income and any income from separate property is presumed to be community property. A couple could agree to keep income each other’s separate property and upon divorce, the income of each spouse and anything purchased with it would be separate property and would not be subject to division.
Another reason that you may have a prenup is in order to determine how your property would be dispersed upon you or your spouse’s death. If there is no will, your property would be dispersed according to intestacy law in Texas. However, in a prenup you could designate who would take your property if you were to die.
You may also want a prenup to assure that your property is not liable to creditors. If your spouse acquires debt, it is possible that creditors could reach some of your property especially anything that is community property. Because in Texas, income is community property, creditors could technically reach this and any property bought with community property to satisfy their debts.
Stress levels and emotions will be at an all-time high during the divorce and you want to minimize the number of disputes that will come as a result of the divorce. Property division can be very complicated and having an attorney guide you through the drafting of a prenuptial agreement will be very beneficial in the event that a divorce does occur. Call our team of experienced lawyers at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC today for a free and confidential legal consultation to learn how a prenup might benefit you.