A premarital agreement is a legal contract between two individuals planning to marry. It outlines the handling of assets, debts and other financial matters in the event of a divorce or separation.
The Texas Family Code covers premarital agreements and dictates that any such arrangement must be in writing to be enforceable. It also bans certain inclusions that violate public policy.
Child custody and support
A premarital agreement should not address child custody or child support arrangements. These matters are something the court often determines by the best interests of the child and the specific circumstances at the time of divorce. Courts have the discretion to modify child-related provisions.
Personal matters such as lifestyle choices, religious practices or division of household chores should not be part of the premarital agreement. It is best to address these issues through open communication and compromise between spouses rather than putting them into a legally binding document.
Incentives for divorce
Avoid any clauses that provide a financial incentive for one party to seek a divorce or that penalize, such as financial penalties for remaining married for a certain number of years. Such provisions could lead to a lack of commitment in the marriage and may not be enforceable in court.
Ensure that the agreement adheres to the law. Including terms that are illegal under local or state law can render the entire agreement invalid.
A premarital agreement can be a valuable tool to protect both parties’ financial interests in a marriage. However, you must steer clear of including matters that could make the document void.