If you are currently married, but are contemplating divorce, you are undoubtedly considering all the implications of going through a divorce as well as all the factors that will affect the divorce process itself. One factor that will have a significant impact on a divorce is the existence of a prenuptial agreement signed by the spouses prior to marriage. If you entered into a prenuptial agreement, you definitely need to understand how that will impact your divorce should you decide to proceed. It is always in your best interest to consult directly with an experienced divorce attorney before moving forward with a divorce, when possible. To give you some general guidelines, however, a Granbury father’s rights lawyer explains how a prenuptial agreement typically affects a divorce.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement
Individual state laws govern most aspects of prenuptial, also known as “premarital” agreements. In the State of Texas, the Texas Family Code, Section 4.001 et seq. governs prenuptial agreements, defined as “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage.” The parties to a prenuptial agreement in Texas may contract to any of the following within a prenuptial agreement:
- 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;
- 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;
- the disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
- the modification or elimination of spousal support;
- the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
- the ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
- the choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
- any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
One thing that cannot be part of a prenuptial agreement is child support. Because child support is a right that belongs to the child, not the parent, it cannot be agreed to ahead of time in a prenuptial agreement.
How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Impact a Divorce?
One of the primary reasons for entering into a prenuptial agreement in the first place is the security it affords the parties because they know ahead of time, to a large extent, what will happen if the marriage ends in a divorce. By agreeing to the terms ahead of time, the existence of a prenuptial agreement should prevent a protracted and contentious divorce. When both parties honor the prenuptial agreement, that is precisely what happens. The parties are able to divide the marital assets and debts according to the terms of the prenuptial agreement and settle any remaining issues much more expeditiously and economically than they would be able to without the agreement in place.
If, however, one of the parties challenges the validity of the prenuptial agreement, it can add another layer of litigation to the divorce process. This is why it is in your best interest to have an experienced family law attorney draft your prenuptial agreement and oversee the process of negotiating and executing the agreement. It is also why it is best to be upfront and honest about your assets when negotiating a prenuptial agreement because if your spouse can prove that he/she did not have a clear picture of those assets a judge could invalidate the agreement on the grounds that it was not entered into knowingly. Having an experienced attorney handle the creation of the prenuptial agreement will greatly diminish the likelihood of a successful challenge to the validity of the agreement.
Contact a Granbury Fathers Rights Lawyer
If you have additional questions or concerns about how a prenuptial agreement will affect a divorce in the State of Texas, contact an experienced Granbury father’s rights lawyer at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd by calling 972-332-0104 to schedule your appointment today. Appointments available in Granbury, Allen, Frisco, or Fort Worth.