You might be wondering why you should be thinking about protecting your assets when you are planning your wedding. After all, you are more than likely not thinking about the fact that you could end up in a high asset divorce at some point in the future when you are not even married yet. The fact of the matter is that this is the best time to keep your assets from becoming part of the marital estate since Texas is a community property state, which means that all assets, property and debts acquired during the marriage could end up being subject to division in a divorce.
How do you do that? You can do this by negotiating and executing a prenuptial agreement. Because you and your future spouse are waiving rights to certain assets that the court could classify as marital property, the circumstances under which you execute such an agreement must meet certain criteria.
Each of you has the right to be represented by your own attorney, but you can represent yourself. However, you should at least have your prenup reviewed by an attorney so that you fully understand the provisions it contains before signing it — and so should your future spouse. The execution date of the agreement must be prior to the date of your marriage. The more in advance you execute your prenup, the better off you will be should it be needed. Lastly, neither party should feel financially or emotionally coerced into signing since the court could see this as duress.
Having a prenuptial agreement can make a high asset divorce less stressful and contentious. If you are already married and decide that you should have signed a prenup, it is not too late. Post-nuptial agreements are also enforceable as long as they comply with current Texas law and do not violate public policy.