A prenuptial agreement is a marital contract between two people who plan to marry one another; the contract typically outlines each party’s property and specifies how property and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can also include details concerning:
- Each party’s right concerning the use and transfer of property
- Which party is financially responsible for certain expenses or responsibilities (i.e. keeping the family pet, etc.)
- The use of joint bank accounts
- Name changes upon marriage and/or divorce
Common Misconceptions About Prenups Debunked
While prenuptial agreements can benefit a couple, many people are weary of them because of the common misconceptions and myths surrounding prenups. Myths and misconceptions about prenuptial agreements that shouldn’t be believed include:
- Prenups are only necessary when either or both spouses are wealthy. You can benefit from having a prenuptial agreement regardless of your wealth or income status. Prenups can help protect your financial health and future even if you have a lower income or not many assets. For instance, in discussing your future plans, Party A may disclose that they intend to start a business; terms can be included in your prenup that protects Party A’s business ownership but can also protect Party B’s finances by maintaining that they are not responsible for Party A’s business debts.
- Prenups can include anything the couple agrees on. Many people mistakenly believe that you can include any terms you want in a prenuptial agreement, which makes them wary about how controlling or restrictive the terms will be. However, prenuptial agreements cannot include terms about child support, weight gain, or elements that are deemed unfair or unreasonable.
- Prenups usually favor one party more than the other. Both parties should be protected in the prenuptial agreement, and a court may not enforce a prenuptial agreement that is one-sided. It is also important to note that either party can contest the prenuptial agreement if they discover that the other party did not share relevant information or assets. While it is not legally required in Texas for each party to have an attorney, it is in your best interest as they can help you negotiate, ensure the enforceability of the document, and act in your best interest.
- Prenups doom relationships to divorce. If either party asks for a prenuptial agreement, you are not destined to get a divorce, and a prenup is not a symbol of a lack of trust. Not only do prenups not have a predictable impact on your marriage but they also are very similar to insurance. You may buy flood insurance but that doesn’t mean your home will be flooded; you just have added protection and help in the event of a flood.
- Prenups are only helpful with divorce cases. Prenups can also be used to build your estate plan; if you outline your wishes for the terms of your inheritance or your children from a previous marriage in your prenup, your spouse can know and abide by those wishes in the event of your death.
- Prenups are inflexible. While the terms of an enforceable prenup must be adhered to, prenups do not prohibit generosity. If a spouse decides to give more or be more flexible, they can be.
- Prenups are costly. Prenuptial agreements are often very affordable, and in comparison to the cost of litigation, you will likely save thousands of dollars. It is also important to note that prenups can help you protect your assets, like your business, heirlooms, inheritance, etc., which also saves you money and protects your financial future. With that in mind, prenups are also worth it.
- Prenups are rarely enforceable. Prenups are enforceable as long as both parties were honest about their financial obligations and assets, the document was signed voluntarily, and the document is in writing and was executed before a couple’s marriage.
Get Legal Help
At J. Roland Jeter, P.C., we are equipped to help you draft a legally binding prenuptial agreement. With over four decades of experience, our attorney is not only experienced but also knowledgeable, and you can trust that our attorney and team will work to help you protect your interests and rights. If you or your partner are concerned about drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement, we can also help alleviate your fears by discussing the common misconceptions more as well as your legal rights and options.
To schedule a consultation appointment and discuss your case with Attorney Jeter, call 972.330.4050 or complete our online contact form today.