Many couples entering into marriage are concerned about maintaining and
protecting their property. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we are dedicated
to helping engaged and married individuals reach their goals.
Houston Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
Texas Family Law Attorneys are here to answer your questions and help you reach your financial goals.
If you are located in the greater Houston area, including Harris County,
Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Grimes County, Waller County, and
Washington County, and you are concerned with protecting your assets during
your marriage, contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today.
What is Community Property, and how is it Texas property law different
from most other states?
Texas property law is very different from the laws of most other states.
Texas property law follows a community property system. This system identifies
most of the property brought into the marriage by either spouse as
community property, belonging the marriage, and not the spouse who “owns” the property.
Property belonging to the marriage is called Community Property. Property
belonging to an individual spouse is called that spouse’s
Separate property includes:
- Any property owned by the spouse before marriage
- Property that spouse acquired during the marriage by means of gift, devise,
- Any personal injury awards awarded to the spouse during the marriage
Any property that is not separate property is
community property. This includes each spouse’s wages.
Why Enter into a Marital Agreement?
Entering into a premarital or marital agreement often has a stigma attached
to it. However, there are plenty of very good reasons why one or both
spouses might want to enter into a marital agreement. A marital agreement
can protect a spouse who is entering into the marriage with far fewer
assets than their partner, just as it can protect someone with far greater
wealth than their spouse. These agreements can protect a partner who plans
to quit their job to raise a family, or protect one spouse’s small
business. Our attorneys are ready to listen to your specific concerns
and draft an agreement that is right for your family and circumstances.
Entering into a marital agreement is in no way a sign of bad faith or a
selfish act. In many situations, entering into a premarital or marital
agreement is the wisest decision for both spouses.
What can a couple agree to in a prenuptial agreement?
An engaged couple may enter in an agreement regarding how their property
will be identified during the marriage, and how it will be divided up
in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse. The agreement must be
in writing and signed by both parties. It becomes effective when the couple
The agreement may contain any of the following provisions:
Each spouse’s salary and wages shall be that spouse’s separate
property: Normally, each spouse’s salary is identified as community property.
The couple can agree that each spouse will retain his or her wages as
Income from separate property is separate: Normally, any income from separate property is identified as community
property. For example, if one spouse owns some land before the marriage,
the land itself is separate property. However, any income that land produces
during the marriage – for example, from a renter living on the land--
is community property. The couple can agree that the income from separate
property remains separate.
Waiver of homestead rights and exempt personal property set aside: Texas law provides that at the death of one spouse, the other spouse will
retain important rights to the family homestead and a certain amount of
personal property. The engaged couple can agree to waive those rights.
Our Houston Family Law Attorneys understand these rights, and can help
explain them to you during your consultation.
Waiver of Spousal Support: The couple can agree to modify or eliminate either spouse’s obligation
to provide spousal support.
Disposition of Property at Divorce/Death: The couple can agree how property will be distributed when the marriage
ends. This may include an agreement to make a will or purchase life insurance.
Any other provision not against public policy: The couple can make any other agreement they want to in their premarital
agreement, as long as their agreements are not in violation of law or
What can’t a couple agree to in a prenuptial agreement?
Texas law permits engaged couples to make many important decisions regarding
their property before they are wed, but there are some things you cannot
legally agree to in a prenuptial agreement. For example:
- You cannot agree to convert separate property to community property in
a premarital agreement. You may agree to convert separate property to
community property in a marital agreement, once you are wed.
- You cannot agree to limit child support obligations.
What can a couple agree to in a postmarital agreement, and how does that
differ from prenuptial agreements?
Married couples can also make agreements regarding their property. A marital
agreement may include any of the provisions included in a premarital agreement.
However, a married couple may also agree to convert separate property
into community property. For example, you may decide that the car the
husband purchased before the couple was married (otherwise his separate
property) is community property. This agreement is called a “Conversion
Marital agreements have some limitations as well. A marital agreement cannot
include a provision that a party filing for divorce waives his or her
interest in the couple’s community property. Normally, community
property is divided up by the court during a divorce proceeding. An agreement
that the spouse who filed for
divorce does not get any of the community property is void.
Marital agreements terminate upon divorce. If you get remarried, you will
need to execute a new agreement. Your old agreement will no longer be
Are there options for unmarried couples living together to create contracts
similar to marital agreements?
Unwed couples, with no intention to get married, still may require protection
of their assets. Agreements between people who live together are called
“palimony” agreements, or are sometimes called “cohabitation
agreements” or “cohabs”. They are recognized whether
the couple is heterosexual or homosexual.
In order to be enforceable, palimony agreements must be in writing and signed.
Palimony agreements might include important terms like who will have to
move out if the relationship ends, how bills and expenses will be split
during the relationship, or who gets custody of a shared pet.
How do you revoke a marital agreement?
Many people think that you can revoke or nullify a marital agreement simply
by tearing it up. That is not true. You must draft a formal, written revocation
and both parties must sign it. Our attorneys are ready to help you decide
whether to revoke your agreement, and to assist you in doing so.
How can you prove (or disprove) a premarital or marital agreement in court?
A premarital or marital agreement will not be enforceable if it was not
A premarital or marital agreement will also be found to be unenforceable
if it was “unconscionable” when it was created AND the following
three-point test can be met:
- The spouse challenging the agreement can show that the other spouse did
not disclose their property/finances.
- The spouse challenging the agreement can show that he did waive the disclosure
- The spouse challenging the agreement can show that he did not have, and
could not have, knowledge of the other spouse’s property/finances.
It can be very difficult to meet this test and have an agreement deemed
unenforceable. Simply showing that the agreement was unfair towards one
spouse is not enough. Our attorneys understand the legal intricacies of
this test and can help you decide if you can meet the burden.
What are some resources I can use to talk to my spouse about a marital
The right to enter into Prenuptial and Marital Agreements is set out in
the Texas Family Code, beginning with Section 4.001. These sections are
known as the “Texas Prenuptial Agreement Act.”
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and