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Record choice of community estate in prenuptial agreement

While most Texas couples would prefer not to give thought to the possibility of divorce at the time they get engaged and start planning their wedding, it is difficult to ignore statistics that show that about half of all American marriages end in divorce. No matter how blissful a relationship is, divorce remains a possibility. Being prepared would make sense for most modern couples, and the best way to protect the interests of both parties might be a prenuptial agreement.

It is vital for both parties to understand that a prenuptial agreement is a permanently binding contract, and unless provision for changes was made in the agreement, it may not be changed later. Texas is a community property state where all assets acquired after the date of the marriage are regarded as community property and will be split down the middle if the couple divorces. However, in a prenuptial agreement, a couple can record whether they want a community estate. In fact, the couple may agree to whatever they like, except matters concerning children.

When a prenuptial agreement is negotiated, it is necessary that each spouse be completely open and honest about assets in his or her possession prior to the marriage date. Items listed as personal property will remain as such in the event of a divorce. Other topics typically included in a prenup include how joint assets will be divided in case of divorce, how the living expenses will be split and in which manner income tax will be addressed. Couples need to keep in mind that what seems fair at the time a prenup is signed may not seem so fair after years of marriage.

To prevent the prenuptial agreement being challenged in a Texas court when a couple gets divorced, it may be best for each party to have his or her own counsel to ensure that all legal requirements are met. Couples who only realize the importance of such an agreement after they get married may draft a postnuptial agreement that will serve the same purpose and is treated with equal importance at the time of divorce. Ensuring the protection of each spouse’s assets at an early stage may provide couples with the peace of mind needed for a happy marriage.

Source: allenpub.com, "Prenuptial Bliss: Negotiate Agreement Well Before Wedding", , June 20, 2014

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