Before you sign a premarital agreement, ask yourself the following questions.
By Kris Algert, Sponsored Content, Photo courtesy of GoransonBain Ausley
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 requesting premarital agreements.
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 change your mind or did not understand the law or the provisions of the agreement.
Premarital agreements can be as 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 it also impacts estate planning.
Before saying “I do” to a premarital agreement, meet with a competent family-law attorney to get the facts about the law governing these documents.
If you would like more information about premarital agreements, please contact me at gbafamilylaw.com/attorney/kristen-a-algert or 512.456.3957.
Kris Algert brings to clients a wealth of experience in developing creative, individualized solutions for highly complex divorces. An innate problem-solver, Kris is adept at managing issues such as high-conflict personalities, sharing or dividing unusual assets, and complex characterization issues. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, board-certified in family law by the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, Master Credentialed Collaborative Professional, and has been named a 2018 and 2019 Best Lawyers® “Collaborative Law Lawyer of the Year” in Austin.