How Do Prenups Affect Divorce Proceedings?
Getting a divorce is a tricky and often messy business. When you marry, you share your assets and finances with your spouse. When you divorce, you have to figure out how to separate everything again. A prenuptial agreement (or prenup) can help expedite the divorce process, but it can also complicate matters in some situations. Working with a divorce lawyer in Smith County can help you understand how your prenup will affect divorce proceedings.
What is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that can help divide assets during a divorce. This agreement is made before a couple marries. The intention is to protect the individual assets they already owned before the marriage. While there are many different reasons a couple may choose to get a prenup, the main reason is protecting their financial interests. This avoids putting a financial burden on one spouse if a divorce takes place. Prenuptial agreements not only protect assets, but they also help expedite the divorce process as long as both parties still agree to the initial decisions.
Contesting a Prenup
If both parties agree to ignore the prenuptial agreement, then divorce proceedings can move along with the help of a divorce lawyer from Smith County. However, if one party wishes to contest the prenup, additional hearings and rulings will need to be arranged.
To successfully contest a prenup, an individual will have to prove that the prenuptial agreement is invalid. Your divorce lawyer can help you analyze the situation to determine if any of the following situations apply:
- There was use of coercion or duress to make a spouse sign a prenup
- The prenup is extremely unreasonable
- The prenup was not signed by both parties or was only made as an oral agreement
- Important financial information was withheld during the signing of the prenup
If a prenup is invalid, the court will ignore it, and the divorce will proceed as normal.
How a Prenup Affects Child Custody
While a prenuptial agreement can include many different factors in a marriage, children are not one of them. You cannot include child custody and care in a prenuptial agreement. The living situations can change too much during marriage and separation. When children are involved in a divorce, a judge will determine custody based on the well-being of the child. Courts will determine child custody and child support payments during the regular divorce procedures. Decisions depend on each party’s financial stability and living situation.
How a Prenup Affects Spousal Support
Financial situations can change, and with it, so can alimony (spousal support in Texas) clauses in a prenup. Even if a prenuptial agreement includes a no-spousal support clause, a judge may still choose to overrule that when considering the financial situation of each party. For example, if a spouse decided to quit their job during the marriage to take care of their children, a judge may overrule a no-alimony clause made when both parties were financially able to support themselves.
How to Get a Prenup
Getting a prenuptial agreement before marriage can be a good way to protect your pre-marital assets and maintain your individual accounts in the case of a divorce. Even if you don’t expect a divorce in the future, having a prenup is a good way to ensure your financial security and stability. When creating a prenup, it’s important that both parties agree to the terms, there is adequate sharing of financial obligations, and the agreement is signed and in writing. Failure to follow these terms can cause issues in a divorce case, as the prenuptial agreement won’t be valid. A lawyer not only helps you keep the document legal, but they know more about how a divorce will go. They also know what kinds of clauses and agreements help it process smoothly and quickly.
Divorce Lawyer in Smith County
Divorce can be a long and complex process. A prenuptial agreement can help it move quickly with a favorable outcome both parties agree to. At the Hager Law Firm, you’ll find an experienced divorce lawyer from Smith County to help you create, contest, or honor a prenuptial agreement. If you need help with marriage documents or divorce proceedings, call the Hager Law Firm today at (903) 466-0001 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation about your case.