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Pre-wedding surprises: Prenuptial agreements and peace of mind

If you’re getting married, you already have a prenuptial agreement of sorts, whether you like it or not. Based on Texas law, a family court could decide how you and your spouse will divide your marital assets if you should ever get divorced. A prenuptial agreement can offer important protections to you.

When a marriage ends, it is common for at least one spouse to feel resentment or anger. These emotions may interfere with their ability to seek a fair division of property or, on the other hand, to have any concern about the future wellbeing of the other spouse. A prenuptial agreement allows you to make difficult decisions while love and common sense are still motivating you and your partner.

When is a prenup a good idea?

You and your intended may not have massive assets yet, but if either of you hopes to achieve wealth, it may be wise to have a frank discussion about how to protect and divide those assets should the marriage end. On the other hand, you may be like many couples these days who postpone marriage until they are financially settled or established in their careers. You may benefit from a prenuptial agreement if these and other factors exist:

  • One of you earns considerably more than the other does.
  • You or your partner has individual assets, such as real estate, investments or an inheritance that you want to keep separate from the marital property.
  • You or your partner own a business you want to protect from personal legal matters, such as divorce.
  • The two of you have decided that one of you will leave work to raise children.
  • One or both of you have children from previous relationships.
  • You intend to bring pets into the marriage that you don’t want to subject to a legal battle over custody.
  • One of you has poor money management skills or significant debt, and you want to use the prenuptial agreement to protect the other spouse’s assets.

Discomfort and, perhaps, enlightenment

The discussion surrounding the creation of a prenuptial agreement can be enlightening, too. You and your partner may open the lines of communication about financial issues that many spouses find difficult to discuss. You may also learn things about your intended’s financial situation that will change the way you will handle the family budget, such as extensive debt or past bankruptcies. Creating a prenup can be a positive experience.