With all the recent news about prenuptial agreements in celebrity chef divorces, you’d think the only dishes being prepared on the food channels are from recipes for disaster. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has been involved in a contentious divorce over the last several months with his prenuptial agreement at the heart of the dispute, even arguing over winnings and proceeds from the sale of a race horse he gave his soon-to-be-ex as a gift.
While the average prenuptial agreement does not get the attention that celebrity divorces garner, the principles behind them are the same: to protect the assets that one, or both, spouses brought into the marriage.
Texas has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act which sets out the rights and obligations of each party that can legally be included in prenuptial agreements. Among those are:
- rights and obligations to property during the marriage;
- division of property in the event of divorce, separation or death of the parties, or even a specific occurrence listed in the agreement (for example, some prenuptial agreements may specify that an aggrieved spouse’s portion may increase if the other spouse engages infidelity;
- modification or elimination of alimony or other spousal support; and
- which state’s laws may be used in interpreting the agreement.
Some rights and obligations cannot be modified by a prenuptial agreement. One of the most important of those is the obligation to pay child support: the state determines the minimum amount of child support that must be paid based on the parties’ financial circumstances and the parties cannot agree to change this.
While many couples balk at the idea of creating a prenuptial agreement because it seems to question the matter of trust in their relationship even before they are married, they can actually be helpful to the success of the marriage. Knowing in advance what each party’s rights and obligations are in the event of a divorce or other event may solve some problems before they arise.
Whatever your emotional feelings about having a prenuptial agreement, consider the legal ramifications as well. An attorney who has experience drafting valid prenuptial agreements under the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act and the Texas version of it can help you decide whether one is right for you and, if so, what provisions should be included.
Source: Fox News, “Bobby Flay and Stephanie March reportedly feuding over horse race winnings,” May 26, 2015