If you’re thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement before you get married, you’re probably wondering how much it costs to put together a legally enforceable contract. If you’re about to tie the knot in the Lone Star State, you might be wondering: how much is a prenup in Texas?
Basically, it depends on a lot of different factors. In some instances, it can cost as little as a few hundred dollars. However, on the other end of the spectrum, it can cost several thousand dollars.
When the idea of a prenup comes up before you get married, many couples worry that it indicates that they aren’t confident that the relationship will work out. In reality, though, prenups can be a useful tool in planning out your financial future as a married couple.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about prenups in Texas to help you and your soon-to-be-spouse make a decision that is right for you.
A prenuptial agreement commonly referred to as a “prenup,” is a legal contract between two people who intend to get married. You might also hear these agreements referred to as antenuptial agreements or premarital agreements. This contract is drawn up in order to outline issues such as the division of property, which can include buildings, land, cars, retirement accounts, and other assets. Contrary to popular belief, though, prenups don't just deal with what happens in the case of a divorce and can be a part of smart financial life planning.
The finalization of a prenup can occur before the couple gets married. Once the two parties are legally married, the prenup becomes effective.
Not everyone who is planning to get married will necessarily benefit from a prenuptial agreement. However, there are a number of reasons why this might be a good idea, depending on your circumstances.
Before we get into the reasons you might want to get a prenup, you’ll want to understand that Texas is a community property state. A community property state asserts that all property and assets that are acquired by either party during a marriage belong jointly to both spouses. In general, any assets that are brought to the marriage by one partner that was acquired before the marriage are considered separate property. However, that isn’t the case if the assets are commingled.
Some reasons that you might want to think about getting a prenup in Texas include:
If you are trying to determine whether or not a prenup would be worth it before you get married, it might be a good idea to talk to an attorney. They will be able to give you specific advice related to your particular circumstances.
Prenups can also help to clear up a number of questions about how money is handled in the marriage. Finances can cause a lot of stress in a marriage, so outlining how you will deal with this aspect of life ahead of time can help to avoid problems down the road.
For example, a prenup can discuss how you and your spouse will handle assets that you accumulate together. It can also outline whether you will maintain separate bank accounts, a joint bank account, or both.
There is a cultural concept of prenups as being a sign that both parties don’t believe that the marriage will last or that one of the involved parties is only marrying the other because of their financial situation. This really doesn’t have to be the case, though, and many people choose to get a prenuptial agreement as a part of a smart financial plan that can offer protection to both parties.
Some of the benefits that might compel you to pursue a prenup in Texas include:
In some instances, you might find that having a prenup can help to provide peace of mind. When you know that your best interests and your assets are protected and you know that you both agree to the terms you’ve outlined, it can help put your mind at ease.
Making a prenup doesn’t have to mean that you’re unromantic or that you think that the marriage will fail. It can also just be a way to prepare for future challenges that are unforeseen.
Prenups also don’t just have to deal with what happens in the case of divorce. It can also outline how decisions will be made regarding selling property or other financial concerns that could very likely crop up during a marriage.
Lastly, even talking to a partner about the possibility of a prenup can open the door to talk about other long-term plans. These might include creating savings plans or trusts.
There are a number of different factors that can impact how much prenups cost in Texas. In general, you can expect the cost to be somewhere between $500 and $10,000, with the higher range being for situations that are more complicated. The average cost in the state of Texas is $1,200.
Obviously, this is a pretty huge range. What are the factors that can influence how much it costs to get a prenup in Texas? Some of them include:
When you have more complicated assets and liabilities as a soon-to-be-married couple, it will influence how long it takes a lawyer to create an agreement. For this reason, the more complex your finances are, the more you can expect to pay for a prenup.
Similarly, you might be motivated to seek out a lawyer with an excellent reputation if you are dealing with a complicated financial situation. Sought-after attorneys will typically charge more, which can also increase the cost of getting a prenup in Texas.
If the negotiations are contentious, you can also expect the process to last longer and cost more money.
It’s also worth noting that some couples choose to get a prenuptial agreement as a part of an estate planning package. On average, the cost of going this route is $1,500.
Are you wondering how much it costs to get divorced in Texas? If so, check out this article.
As discussed above, how much it costs to get a prenup in Texas can vary greatly. However, if you and your partner have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for before you put it in writing with the help of a lawyer, you can save quite a bit of money. Of course, this might not be possible in your situation if you or your partner is bringing significant assets or an otherwise complicated financial situation to the marriage.
Some of the services that you might be charged fees for when making a prenup include:
It’s a good idea to ask a prospective attorney about the costs you can expect to incur when getting a prenup. They will be able to give you an idea of what services your circumstance will require and about how much it will cost.
The ideal time to begin the process of getting a prenup is a few months before you intend to get married. This way, there is ample time to come to an agreement on all matters. The more complicated your finances, the sooner you will want to begin the process.
A number of different issues can be dealt with in Texas prenuptial agreements. You might find that you choose to include some or all of the following issues:
(Curious to learn how long a divorce typically takes in Texas? If so, you can learn more here.)
The State of Texas does not allow prenuptial agreements to limit how much child support one spouse might owe if they were to get divorced or separated. This is because, in Texas, the right to child support is understood to belong to the child rather than the parents.
Child support can be awarded by a judge based on what is considered fair and reasonable. This means that the judge’s decision can overrule any agreements that parents outlined in a prenup.
Additionally, child custody cannot be determined in advance through the use of a prenup. Child custody is exclusively decided by family law courts if it comes to that. In a family law court, what your prenup says will not be considered by a judge when it comes to making decisions regarding child custody and support.
The Texas statutes do, however, state that alimony can be determined in a prenup. Each party can elect to waive alimony, agree to a specific level of support, agree to adjustments based on the cost of living, and any other issue that impacts alimony. In these cases, family law courts will uphold what is agreed upon within a premarital agreement.
In order for your prenup to be enforceable in court, it will need to meet the requirements of Texas state law. According to Texas state law, prenuptial agreements are enforceable if:
If your contract fulfills these requirements, it should be enforceable under Texas State law.
Texas is one of the twenty-eight states that have adopted what is known as the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA). This is a Uniform Act that was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1983.
You can modify or terminate a prenuptial agreement when you are married if you choose to. In order to do this, you will need to enter into a written subsequent agreement that either makes changes or invalidates the initial agreement. When a couple modifies their prenup, it is known as a postnuptial agreement.
You might be tempted to try and DIY your prenup in order to save money, but it’s important to understand the potential consequences of incorrectly creating a prenup. If your prenup contains unfair provisions or doesn’t comply with state law, your prenup will be invalidated by Texas courts. Of course, when you create a prenup in the first place, the goal is to ensure that it will hold up in court if you ever end up there.
Some of the reasons that a prenup might be invalidated by the court include:
As you can see, it’s important to avoid this type of misstep. Otherwise, you might think that you have a valid prenuptial agreement, only to find that it doesn’t hold up in court when it matters most.
The terms of a prenup can be overridden by Texas state law if it is found that your prenup is unenforceable in court or invalidated.
Creating a prenup doesn’t have to mean that you think your marriage is doomed to fail. There are a lot of compelling reasons why a prenuptial agreement might be right in your situation. For instance, by agreeing to how financial decisions will be made in the future, prenups can actually help to reduce or eliminate future disagreements about money. In this regard, a prenup might protect you from the prospect of divorce, rather than indicate that dissolving the marriage is all but certain.
When you’re getting married in Texas, understanding the state laws can help you protect yourself and your family. For more information about divorce, prenups, and marriage in Texas, check out TexasDivorceLaws.org.