The first time you married, you may never have thought to suggest a prenuptial agreement to your future spouse. Many people think of this contract as a tool for wealthy people to prevent losing their assets in a divorce. However, premarital contracts are often about financial planning and asset management, although they frequently do affect property division in divorce.
Now that you are preparing to remarry, there are several reasons a prenup is essential.
From your divorce, you already learned that Texas treats all assets obtained during the marriage as marital property, regardless of which spouse earned them. If you own real estate, retirement accounts and other assets, they will be separate property when you marry. However, if your spouse contributes to the upkeep and improvement of your home or you use marital funds to contribute to your investments, the commingling will change the status of the assets. This would make property division complex in a divorce.
If you die first, your spouse becomes sole owner of the assets. Your children from another relationship would not be in line to inherit your assets from their stepparent. When your spouse dies, his or her children would inherit the property rather than yours unless you have an estate plan.
Separating responsibility and liability
Perhaps you own rental properties, a business, investments or some other significant asset that provides you with your income and also involves considerable responsibility and liability. By indicating in your premarital contract that these assets are yours and not your spouse’s, you prevent him or her from becoming liable in a worst-case scenario involving litigation, judgments or debt collection. If something did happen to end your relationship, you would still be able to support yourself and your children.
You can include almost any matter that is legal and does not involve child custody or support in your agreement, but remember that it is a binding contract and should only contain important agreements.