Some people believe talking about troubles can bring them on. That may be the reason, until the last several years, some Houston couples have shied away from prenuptial agreements — as if addressing issues like divorce or death somehow jinxes marriage. As unromantic as they are to engaged couples, prenups can serve valuable purposes including the resolution of problems before they appear.
The wonder associated with a new marriage doesn’t have to be tarnished by financial discussions. This is a subject couples must talk about at some point. It is often a relief to know how your would-be spouse thinks and feels about money. If you’re going to be surprised or downright shocked, wouldn’t you rather have it happen before committing to a long-term relationship?
Some individuals see pre-marital agreements as a necessary step in clearing the air about property ownership. Concerns about separate and marital property division are especially significant in Texas. Our courts divide disputed marital assets in divorce according to community property rules. Straight down the middle — you get half and your ex gets half.
Individuals are free to divide property as they choose in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, provided the terms are fair to both parties and compliant with state law. You can establish your own standards of property division rather than have a court determine the outcome for you.
Prenuptial agreements are especially attractive under certain conditions. Here’s a few: when one or both individuals have substantial wealth, when there are children or other support obligations from a past relationship or when you feel strongly about alimony. Some couples even go as far as establishing rights to pet ownership in these contracts.
Keep in mind you may not escape duties to pay child support or decide child custody issues through prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements. You can discuss the pros and cons of a pre-marital contract with a family law attorney.