Can You Challenge a Prenup in Texas?

This video features Jimmy Vaught, a Family Law attorney based in Texas.

Austin Divorce Attorney Explains When You Can Change a Prenuptial Agreement

Video Transcript:

Jimmy Vaught: 

If they're done correctly, they're very hard to break. And you can put almost anything into a prenup with some exceptions, but they're absolutely enforceable.

Judy Maggio: 

Maybe you signed a prenuptial agreement before you married, but now things have changed. Can you challenge a prenup in the state of Texas? That's what we'll find out today on our episode of Ask The Lawyer. Hi everybody, I'm Judy Maggio with askthelawyers.com, and our guest today is Austin Attorney, Jimmy Vaught. Before we get started, remember, if you wanna ask Jimmy a question, simply go to the top of the page on askthelawyers.com, click on that button that says "Ask A Lawyer" and ask away. Or, you can simply call the phone number you'll see on the screen during our conversation. Jimmy, great to see you again, thanks so much for being here.

Jimmy Vaught: 

Thank you, Judy, it's good to see you again.

Judy Maggio: 

Well, I know you have lots of experience with drafting these prenups, but have you done much litigating of them in court?

Jimmy Vaught: 

Not a whole lot and the reason is because if they're done correctly, they're very, very hard to break. Occasionally, I can't think of any of mine that have ever been challenged, although hopefully not putting a hex on myself, but I do see cases, with other laws drafted that either are, don't really follow the family code, or come out of something online, prenup in a box kind of thing. But I can't think of any that have actually ever been challenged.

Judy Maggio: 

So those are some of the circumstances that you just mentioned. But I've heard people say actually that those prenups are just not enforceable. How do you answer that?

Jimmy Vaught: 

Well, like I said, if they're done correctly, they're very hard to break. And you can put almost anything into a prenup with some exceptions, but they're absolutely enforceable.

Judy Maggio: 

So I'm wondering what happens if a couple, say, acquires property after this prenup is signed, is that addressed in the contract?

Jimmy Vaught: 

Essentially, yes. And it kinda depends on what the folks want. But essentially everything, there's the schedules of assets, and anything that either is generated by that, or the money comes from that, is gonna remain separate property of the folks.

Judy Maggio: 

What about if circumstances have drastically changed though, Jimmy?

Jimmy Vaught: 

It doesn't matter. And so let's say for example if folks got married, they had a 401K, let's say. And let's say, not unlike recently, the value of 401K goes off the roof. Or they bought Apple when it was just starting out, and now it's worth a million dollars, that doesn't impact the division of property if they get divorced.

Judy Maggio: 

I'm wondering about kids. So what if a couple has a prenup and then has children? What role does child support play in something like this and child custody? How is that covered under these prenuptial agreements?

Jimmy Vaught: 

Well, actually, child support can't be, it is not addressed in a prenup, that's rule-specific in the statutes. And child custody really, you could put something in there about custody, but it's not gonna be binding on the court. It's more aspirational than it is enforceable.

Judy Maggio: 

How common is it for these prenuptial agreements to be changed and how can they be changed down the road?

Jimmy Vaught: 

Well, any time and virtually all prenups have language in there that they can be amended in the future, if the parties agree to do it, by agreement. And sometimes you have things like, let's say that the prenup's gonna be in effect for five years, let's say, and then it's gonna be terminated, or it's gonna be renegotiated. That and I've seen that a couple of times, but most of the time, it just stays the same.

Judy Maggio: 

I'm wondering, how common are prenuptial agreements? We think of them as something that only the wealthy have, but that's probably a misconception.

Jimmy Vaught: 

And I think you're right. A lot of times, I've seen people who don't have a whole lot, who want a prenup. A lot of times folks... We see prenups with folks... I'll give you an example, let's say, before they get married, one of the parties, their family has a family business, and usually it's the family that wants a prenup. And so there's a prenup done that actually makes it crystal clear that whatever the potential spouse's interest in the family business is gonna be separate property.

Judy Maggio: 

Very good. Lots of great information today. Thank you so much for being with us, Jimmy.

Jimmy Vaught: 

Thank you, Judy.

Judy Maggio: 

That's going to do it for this episode of Ask The Lawyer. Don't forget that if you wanna ask questions about your situation, go to askthelawyers.com, click on the "Ask A Lawyer" button or simply call that number on your screen. My guest today has been Austin Attorney, Jimmy Vaught. Thanks so much for watching, I'm Judy Maggio with Ask The Lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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