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Texas couples gain financial control with prenuptial agreements

The end of a Texas marriage isn't just a matter of two people calling it quits and walking away. Divorce is a legal process that, in part, determines how a couple's assets and debts will be shared. Without an alternate financial agreement, divorcing Houston spouses will divide property according to the state's community property laws.

Prenuptial agreements allow couples to customize a financial plan that protects individual assets in case of divorce. The contents of a pre-marital agreement must follow guidelines set in Texas Family Code 1B:4A. Otherwise, spouses-to-be have the freedom to design the financial course they want to take any way they like.

Tremendous individual wealth often triggers a desire for a prenuptial contract. That's true for celebrities Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, who are scheduled to marry in May. Reports say the couple is putting the final touches on a prenup that reflects events that came before their engagement.

This will be Kardashian's third marriage and West's first. The couple has a 9-month-old child. The two are heading into marriage with substantial personal assets.

Reports say Kardashian's finances would be well protected should she and West's marriage fail. Kanye West named Kim as the beneficiary of an insurance policy worth $20 million. The proceeds would go to Kardashian, no matter what fate awaits the couple's relationship.

Kardashian also could receive an added $10 million. That's the cap on a reported agreement that she will get $1 million for every year the couple remains married. Reportedly, the couple's Bel Air home also would go to Kim. No provisions of the contract were reported that affected the couple's daughter.

People who benefit from prenuptial agreements often have a specific goal, like asset preservation for children from earlier marriages. Some individuals want to separate property that would be considered community property under Texas laws, without a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement.

Source: Atlanta Daily World, "Inside Kim Kardashian & Kanye West’s Multi-Million Dollar Prenup" Myeisha Essex, Mar. 08, 2014

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