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Prenuptial agreement: A valuable document for blended families

Marital agreements are sometimes seen as unromantic and counterproductive, although they are meant to give both parties peace of mind and the ability to focus on their love and their marriage. In Texas and elsewhere, a prenup is often regarded as a necessity for couples with high assets. This type of agreement may also protect the assets of less wealthy couples. Nevertheless, many ask why they should consider a prenuptial agreement.

Some of the scenarios that show the value of prenuptial agreements include cases in which a parent remarries and wants to protect some assets that are intended for his or her children from a prior relationship. Failure to address these issues appropriately may lead to contention. If the new spouse passes away later, an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may still protect the children of the spouse who died first, though these are issues to discuss with legal counsel.

Marital agreements can also be entered into after a marriage. For instance, if a spouse receives an inheritance, a postnuptial agreement can specify the manner that the inheritance should be dealt with upon death. Marital agreements can also include terms concerning retirement funds, savings and other monetary assets. These agreements are especially important when families with children from previous marriages are blended.

It is not uncommon for disputes to follow a divorce or a spouse's death, and high legal costs and trauma may be avoided by the proper execution of a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement. Such agreements need not be complicated, and guidance is available from experienced Texas family law attorneys. Each spouse must have a legal representative when a marital agreement is signed -- not only to ensure the legality of the agreement, but also to provide valuable advice.

Source: thespectrum.com, "Marital agreement can be easy, simple solution", Bo Bingham, Aug. 26, 2015

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