Prenuptial agreements or prenups get a bad reputation for being a bad precursor to marriage, because signing one is anticipating the idea of a separation or divorce.  Nevertheless, premarital agreements are one of the smartest approaches you can take to start financial planning before marriage. Because prenups take place before your marriage vows, they open up the conversation of finances and asset allocation between soon-to-be spouses before it ever becomes a problem.  Discussing finances before the marriage takes place can assure your marriage takes off smoothly, and everyone knows what they are getting themselves into before saying ‘I do’.  Prenups do require some legal knowledge, in order for it to be legal and binding, it is best to seek the help of an attorney that deals with premarital agreements.

Attorney for Prenups in Cameron County, Texas

Prenup agreements are smart financial planning in anticipation of marriage, so you and your spouse might want to consider having us draft one for you and act as one of your representatives.  At The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , we are devoted to your vision as a client.  We understand the complexity of marriage and want you to enjoy it while still having that security planning in case something does happen.

Though marriage is a place where what yours is also your spouses, you can also consider having your own financial security in case something goes wrong.  Things happen, even when you don’t anticipate them.  You might also want to consider a prenuptial agreement if you are concerned about a particular asset being distributed properly.

Contact The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. for a free confidential consultation at 956-504-2211.  We work with clients in the Brownsville, area as well other parts of Willacy County, Cameron County, and Hidalgo County.

Overview of Prenups in Cameron County, Texas 

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When are Prenups Necessary?

Prenups or prenuptial agreements are useful when one or both soon-to-be spouses have a specific financial situation.  The following can benefit from a prenup:

  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) bringing in a significant amount of property into the marriage that is likely to grow during the marriage (i.e. stocks, real estate, commercial business, etc.)
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) planning to allocate a specific asset or all assets to someone outside of his or her own estate in case of a dissolution of marriage, terminal illness, or death (i.e. foundations, hospitals, non-profit organizations, friends, etc.)
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) considering being a stay-at-home parent, and needing a financial contract to split finances equally
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) concerned about existing health issues or planning ahead in case of death or terminal illness or unconscious state of mind
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) concerned about any of their personal assets becoming community property after marriage
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) receiving a personal injury compensation during the marriage that includes compensation for loss of earnings
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) with significant different incomes
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) with significant amount of debt
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) concerned about life insurance or retirement plan
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) wanting to eliminate or adjust spousal maintenance terms
  • Soon-to-be spouse(s) wanting to establish terms of managing property

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Guidelines for a Legitimate Prenup

The great thing about prenuptials is that it is a contract that is entirely decided by you and your soon-to-be spouse.  The job of the attorney is to make sure the agreement meets legal standard and is beneficial for you as the soon-to-be spouse.  Prenuptial contracts that seem unrealistic or far-reaching tend to be scrutinized more in court process.  Therefore, they are more likely to be considered as invalid for divorce or separation of property purposes.  In order to be seen as a prenuptial agreement, the contract needs to be addressed and signed by both parties before the marriage vows take place.

Texas Family Code § 4.003 states the following:

“The parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:

(1) the rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;

(2) the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;

(3) the disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;

(4) the modification or elimination of spousal support;

(5) the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;

(6) the ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;

(7) the choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and

(8) any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

(b) The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.”

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Ways a Prenup can seem Illegitimate

Tex. Family Code § 4.006 provides the following criticism during a questionable prenup:

  1. a)A premarital agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is requested proves that:

(1) the party did not sign the agreement voluntarily; or

(2) the agreement was unconscionable when it was signed and, before signing the agreement, that party:

(A) was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;

(B) did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and

(C) did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

(b) An issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of law.

(c) The remedies and defenses in this section are the exclusive remedies or defenses, including common law remedies or defenses.

Each soon-to-be spouse needs to have their own individual attorney to draft and/or review the prenup, so each party can be adequately represented and the prenuptial agreement drafted in a manner that the parites believe is fair. If any of the above are missing in the contract, or the contract is drafted unfairly or one-sided, the court has ground to consider the prenup as invalid.  The great thing about prenuptial agreements is that if you and your spouses’ circumstances change throughout the marriage, then you can always modify the agreement through the form of a postnuptial agreement.

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Additional Resources

Texas Department of State Health Services | Divorce Rate – According to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit (VSU), records from 2009 to 2010, marriage rate had decreased within the year, while the divorce rate had increased.  It is important to take precautions to safe keep your finances.  The reports from the VSU show a high divorce rate.  Having a prenup helps start the difficult conversations before marriage, allowing couples to have an understanding of what will happen moving forward.

Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts | Money Troubles in Marriage – The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysists had their certified divorce financial analysists (CDFA) collect data for a survey naming the main causes of divorce. Money issues came in at 22% as one of the main cases of divorce.  Because prenups open up the money conversation between couples before marriage, any money issues resolutions will have already been discussed and established by the time the marriage is in place. 

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Attorney for Prenups in Brownsville, Texas

When you choose The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. to represent you in the prenuptial agreement process, we will keep your best interest in mind.  Our attorneys can answer questions involving separation of property or any terms that may seem confusing in the prenup contract.

If you are concerned about handling finances in your marriage, let us represent you in a prenuptial agreement.  We can open the door to the conversation involving finances you will have with your soon-to-be spouse.  We understand the idea of a prenuptial agreement can kill the romance in your anticipated marriage.  However, if you have specific goals or visions for certain areas of your wealth, you need to make it be known in writing, and you should do so before the marriage, so your personal wishes are fully listened to and respected.

Contact The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. at 956-504-2211 for more information or to get started on a prenup with us.  We serve clients in all of Brownsville, and the counties of Cameron, Willacy, and Hidalgo.