Different states characterize married couples' property differently, and Texas is what is known as a "community property" state. This means that, in Texas, a couple's property upon divorce will be divided into two categories: separate and marital.
Separate property goes to each spouse individually and includes property that he or she owned before entering into the marriage. Marital property includes almost everything earned or acquired by either spouse during the marriage, except for gifts and inheritances given directly to one spouse alone.
In Texas divorce proceedings, marital property is divided between the spouses according to what a judge deems is "just and right;" therefore, the analysis is highly subjective and the results can be unpredictable. If a couple decides to divorce, having a prenuptial agreement eliminates the uncertainty of a judge's decision and replaces it with a detailed property-division plan that the couple has made in advance.
Income is certainly a major consideration when it comes to prenuptial agreements, but there are several other factors to think about as well. Just as a prenuptial agreement is particularly advisable when one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the same is true if either spouse has more assets than the other, such as real estate or stock holdings, or when one spouse expects to receive a large inheritance.
Similarly, even couples whose current financial circumstances are similar would be wise to consider a prenuptial agreement if either spouse is likely to see a significant increase in their earning potential over time.
A prenuptial agreement also is helpful when one or both spouses were previously married or have children from outside the marriage. In these cases, a prenuptial agreement ensures that parents going into a new marriage will still be able provide for their existing children if the new marriage ends.
If you would like to know more about how a prenuptial agreement can help you in Texas, contact an experienced Texas family law attorney.