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Prenuptial agreements not only for asset division and divorce

Texas residents may be aware of the negative connotations surrounding prenuptial agreements, and determining when to broach the subject may produce high levels of anxiety. Instead of regarding a prenuptial agreement as a means to protect one’s interests in the event of a divorce, couples may consider the positive aspects of such a document. Rather than regarding it as a directive for asset division, they may recognize that it is the perfect way for a couple to test their ability to communicate in an open and sincere way about their individual financial situations and how they will handle their combined finances during their marriage.

It is not uncommon for individuals to come into a marriage with existing debts, such as student loans, credit card debt or even obligated child support. Addressing these debts and discussing how the couple will handle payment may be included in a prenuptial agreement. By discussing how the monthly incomes of both spouses will be treated, and defining each one’s responsibilities, couples may avoid unpleasant arguments at a later stage. It has been reported that a large percentage of divorces can be attributed to arguments about money.

Couples may want to take note that a prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document; however, as circumstances change, amendments may be made by drafting a postnuptial agreement. This often becomes necessary when a couple decides to start a family and matters such as the religious upbringing and choice of schools need to be decided. In addition to the usual matters of assets owned before the marriage and those acquired later, couples may benefit from including these guidelines in a prenuptial agreement. Couples that live with their mutually approved guidelines may have no issues to debate in the event of a divorce.

It is important to remember that the drafting of such documents may need the services of counsel to ensure the legality of the contract. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that any marriage will last forever, but a carefully considered and properly documented prenuptial agreement may avoid the unpleasantness typically associated with divorce in Texas. While avoiding unnecessary time and money spent on litigation, each spouse may be able to move on without being scarred by an unpleasant divorce.

Source: Business Insider, "Here's Why Every Couple Should Get A Prenup Before Marriage", Libby Kane, Aug. 5, 2014

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