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.

Hat tip: 9 Questions You Want To Know But Are Too Afraid To Ask About Prenups
 

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.