Articles Posted in Converting Property

Pre-nuptial agreements, called premarital agreements under Texas law, are frequently in the news and even in pop culture references (shout-out to Kanye West).  You may think that living in Dallas, Kaufman, or Rockwall County that you don’t need to worry about a premarital agreement, but they can be a very valuable tool. No one likes to think about divorce at the beginning of their marriage, but with the amount of marriages that end in divorce it can be extremely helpful to get an agreement in writing ahead of time to make sure that a divorce can be as painless as possible.

What are the requirements for a premarital agreement in Texas?

In Texas, a premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. It is pretty much that simple. There are many things that may be contracted for in a premarital agreement but one major thing that is NOT allowed to be modified in certain ways in a premarital agreement is child support. You can’t completely get rid of (the statute says, “adversely affect”) child support. It makes sense because it seems like bad policy to have a child suffer because of an agreement of the parties that was possibly made before they were even born.

You brought some property into your marriage, accumulated some property along the way, and now you are facing a divorce.  You need advice about what is really yours, hers, and in between.  You are not alone to have commingled property—many people have concerns about property and what ultimately happens to it, especially if it is a house or some other large asset.

Many people get confused and think that whatever is in their name is their property and same goes for their spouse.  Unfortunately, that is not how it works in Texas.  We are a community property state and the character or nature of the property depends upon its inception of title—when did you acquire that piece of property.  Community property is anything acquired during marriage, no matter whose name it is in.  Separate property is anything acquired prior to marriage or by gift, devise or descent during marriage.  Therefore, if you bought your home prior to marriage then it is your separate property.

But, now you are concerned because you deeded the home to both of your names after you were married.  However, that is not enough to convert separate property into community property under Texas Family Code Section 4.202.  In fact, subsection (a) states that you must have an agreement to convert separate into community property and that agreement must “(1) be in writing; be signed by the spouses; identify the property being converted; and specify that the property is being converted from separate property into the spouses’ community property; (2) and it is enforceable without consideration.”

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