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A Detailed Look at the Process for Creating a Prenuptial Agreement

 Posted on October 27, 2022 in Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements can be highly useful tools to preserve certain property interests in the event of divorce. More and more couples are utilizing these tools as people see the value in being able to predetermine certain outcomes with respect to property division. Prenuptial agreements can also be useful in predetermining spousal maintenance and other issues as well. When a prenuptial agreement is created in Texas, the creators need to follow certain steps to ensure that everything is done properly. In this post, we will go over these steps, one by one, so readers can have a sense of what this process looks like.

Step 1: Identify Goals / Interests

The first step is to simply identify the goals and interests of the parties involved. If neither of the parties have any goals which might be furthered by a prenuptial agreement, then a prenup won’t even be necessary. Prenups can only be used for specific purposes, they can’t achieve everything. So, for instance, if people want to use prenups to predetermine child support, this can’t be done, because it would be against public policy requiring both parents to support their children.  

Once the goals are identified, those goals can be bargained for and then commemorated in writing if the parties want to move forward. The main things which are typically addressed by prenups are property division and spousal maintenance. Property division includes a wide range of things – insurance proceeds, tangible personal property, intangible personal property, real property, etc. – not just the usual assortment of property which most people think about.

Step 2: The Bargaining Process

After the goals have all been identified, the parties can begin the bargaining process. This is where the parties figure out how much they are willing to trade in order to reach their goals. For some people, preventing spousal maintenance is their biggest concern, and to achieve this they’re willing to give the other party substantial property. For others, the main concern is preserving wages which are earned during the marriage. Whatever the specifics, the parties engage in a bargaining process to determine precisely the terms of the agreement. To assist with this process, the parties must make certain financial disclosures to ensure that everyone has the requisite tools to make wise decisions. 

Step 3: The Writing Process

Once the terms of the agreement have been thoroughly bargained for, and the parties have reached an agreement in principle, then the writing process begins. The parties – or, more precisely, the attorneys of the parties – will transfer the agreed upon terms into a written document which can then be signed and formally accepted. Once the terms of the agreement have been signed by both parties, those terms become binding, unless the terms are modified by mutual agreement in the future.

Step 4: The Review Process

Prior to signing, the attorneys should make certain that everything is correct and consistent with legal strictures. The State of Texas, for instance, has adopted the UPAA, which means that prenuptial agreements have to abide certain rules to be valid. The attorneys need to ensure that there is no “unconscionability,” that both parties signed, that both parties made fair disclosures, and that the agreement doesn’t suffer from any other apparent flaws. If a prenuptial agreement is flawed for whatever reason, then it might be rendered unenforceable. 

Contact The Ramage Law Group for More Information

If you’d like to learn more, reach out to The Ramage Law Group today by calling 972-562-9890.


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