A prenup is an abbreviation of the term prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement. When two people want to get married, but also want to control part of their relationship by agreement, they use a premarital agreement to make those arrangements. The most common purpose of getting a prenup is to address how marital property will be handled in the event of a divorce. In Texas, most often people get prenups to control the application of Texas’ community property laws to the division of their assets during a divorce. But, marrying spouses may also use a premarital agreement in Texas to identify and preserve separate property owned before the marriage, to apportion debts or protect a spouse from the debts of another, or to address inheritance rights. Some spouses have been known to address personal issues in their prenup such as apportioning household duties, requiring sex weekly, or limiting the amount of football games the husband can watch. Some prenups even address what happens to the pets during the marriage and beyond!
Most celebrities have prenups. For example, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s prenup allegedly nets Urban about $640,000 for every year that he is with Kidman. There is reportedly a clause in the prenup that states if Urban, a former cocaine addict, uses illegal drugs he will not receive a cent of Kidman’s fortune that is estimated at around $150 million. And, Catherine Zeta-Jone’ prenup with “Wall Street” star Michael Douglas entitles her to $2.8 million per each year the marriage remains in effect. (See Ten Craziest Prenuptial Agreements)
In Texas, we have some standard clauses that can be put in a prenup, but the ultimate document can be tailored to fit every need. It is important to have a board certified family law attorney draft the premarital agreement, as the implications on a divorce can be overlooked by attorneys who practice in other areas. For help in drafting your prenup, contact the Texas board certified attorneys at O’Neil & Attorneys.