Are you entering into a new marriage and have any of the following goals?

  • Preserving a family fortune for children from an earlier marriage
  • Eliminating, limiting or setting any future alimony obligations
  • Reaching an agreement regarding the rights and duties of the parties, including child care, housework, career sacrifices and management of family finances
  • Identifying what property belongs to each party before the marriage
  • Keeping a party’s income “separate” to pay off premarital debts or meet alimony obligations from a prior marriage

If so, you should consider having a premarital agreement.

The requirements for a premarital agreement are fairly basic. It needs to be in writing and signed by the parties. If it involves ownership of real estate, it must be sworn to in front of a notary public so it can be recorded in the county deed records. The parties must acknowledge that there has been a full disclosure of each one’s property and debts.

It does not require a recitation of a wedding date. The agreement takes effect on the date of marriage.

If properly done, a premarital agreement is very difficult to set aside if the marriage is dissolved. There are really only two reasons that the court will consider – one of the parties did not sign it voluntarily, or the agreement was unconscionable when it was signed. It is rare in Collin, Dallas, Denton or Tarrant County that these premarital agreements are not upheld.