Prenuptial agreements are becoming more common. According to the New York Times, more millennials are requesting premarital contracts in recent years. Couples in Texas who are considering prenuptial agreements must create them according to the relevant laws.

Texas Family Code Chapter 4 lays out all the requirements for enacting valid premarital agreements.

Legal requirements

 In order for a Texas family court to uphold and enforce a premarital contract, the document must be in writing. Oral agreements are not enforceable. Both parties must negotiate, write and sign the agreement with an intent to enter into an upcoming marriage. The law does not require support by consideration, which refers to one partner giving something of value to the other partner to show support for the agreement.

Permissible content

The law outlines the appropriate topics and situations a prenuptial agreement can cover. Partners can include the following provisions in a contract:

  • The allocation of property and debts in the event of divorce, separation or death.
  • Changes to or elimination of spousal support.
  • Who has certain rights to manage and control property.
  • The creation of a will, trust or other estate planning documents to carry out the provisions of the contract.
  • Ownership rights to a death benefit from life insurance.
  • Other matters that do not violate the law.

Prenuptial agreements do not allow any language regarding child support or child custody.

Modifying or invalidating an agreement

 Married couples can modify or terminate a prenuptial contract by entering into a new one that either alters or disavows the initial document. A modified premarital agreement is called a postnuptial agreement.

Many couples find that prenuptial agreements are beneficial for protecting assets and handling financial differences in marriage and divorce.