Texas is a community property state, which means that nearly all assets and debt acquired during marriage are divided equally in a divorce. Though assets acquired by one spouse before marriage are generally considered separate property, actions taken during marriage can muddy the line between separate and community property.
If one person has an existing business at the time of marriage, the increase or decrease in the value of that business would be considered community property unless certain precautions are taken. In this situation, couples should consider entering a prenuptial agreement that sets forth the percentage of the value that the non-titled spouse will receive if the parties eventually divorce.
When drafting a prenuptial agreement, there are several things that should be taken into account. If one partner has an existing business, the couple should determine how much that business is worth in present time so that the amount will be protected as separate property in the event of a divorce. They should also discuss how the non-titled spouse is expecting to contribute to the business during marriage since that could impact the amount that spouse would want after separation. If a spouse wants to avoid having to divvy up the value of the business upon separation, it can be helpful to pay the non-titled spouse for his or her contributions to the business during marriage by way of a salary.
Though some people may think that family law attorneys only handle divorce, it may be beneficial to consult with one before marriage. Even though entering a prenuptial agreement can seem unromantic, it is actually a good way for soon-to-be spouses to discuss their future and finances and make sure they are on the same page. A Texas-licensed family law attorney may assist with negotiating and drafting a prenuptial agreement.