Texas is a community property state in which assets accumulated by spouses during marriage are regarded as the property of both spouses. The only assets that will not be divided between the spouses are those brought into the marriage by a spouse, along with inheritances and gifts that remained separate and were never commingled during the marriage. However, by drawing up a prenuptial agreement, couples may specify the manner in which their property will be divided if they decide to get divorced in the future.
Many couples fail to anticipate financial growth and success when they get married, and then they fail to address the issue in a post-nuptial agreement once they start accumulating significant assets. A well-known TV host, Giada De Laurentiis, is reportedly about to lose some of her fortune in an imminent divorce from her husband of 12 years. Her husband, Todd Thompson, apparently recently filed for divorce after learning of his wife's infidelity.
Media reports state that the couple never signed a prenuptial agreement, which would have protected their respective assets. De Laurentiis became a successful host of four TV shows and the owner of a Las Vegas Restaurant after the couple got married. In addition, she owns a cooking equipment line that includes ingredients and cooking utensils. The alleged value of her assets is estimated at approximately $20 million, which is significantly more than her husband's assets. However, De Laurentiis reportedly claims that their assets and property are not community property.
Couples in Texas who are considering marriage may want to have a discussion about drawing up a legal prenuptial agreement. While it seems unnatural to consider divorce before even getting married, being proactive may protect assets and avoid unpleasant future litigation. Not only will a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement be useful should a couple divorce in the future, but it may also prove useful in the case of a spouse's death when his or her estate is being distributed among heirs.
Source: mstarz.com, "Giada De Laurentiis Divorce Prenup Drama: John Mayer's Rumored Flame & Hubby Todd Thompson Feud Over Money -- Will Food Network Star Lose Fortune?", Mitch Thorpe, Jan. 21, 2015