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Is a prenuptial agreement right for you?

Many Texans hear about celebrities drafting prenuptial agreements before tying the knot. They may think that prenups are only for celebrities, but the truth is that any couple can consider one if they have any concerns about how assets will be split in a divorce. Although not every couple needs one, could you benefit from one?

Prenuptial agreements can protect property rights. They can decide who gets to keep the marital home in a divorce. They can also contain lifestyle clauses that order a party to forfeit their rights to alimony or certain assets if they are caught cheating. Prenups can also include personal decisions, such as how to raise children or where to live.

Prenups cannot include everything, however. They cannot violate state law nor can they protect undisclosed property. Both parties must agree to be honest when drafting a prenup or it can be deemed invalid.

Many people have cold feet before they walk down the aisle. If the cold feet are attributed to doubts or concerns about the marriage, then perhaps a prenup is in order. A 2010 survey shows that 15 percent of divorced Americans wished they had a prenuptial agreement. So if you have any assets that you're not willing to part with in a divorce, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Although prenups offer asset protection, not every person is open to the idea of having one. Discussing the thought of divorce before the wedding has even taken place can be an awkward situation and it's hardly romantic. But if couples cannot openly discuss finances before the big day, then how will they be able to deal with finances once they're married?

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "For Love or for Money: Should You Get a Prenup?" Ginger Dean, Apr. 25, 2014

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