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How a prenuptial agreement affects community property in Texas

Divorce is often a complicated matter. State laws that govern the process vary, and spouses choosing to end their marriages in court in Texas will want to seek clarification on certain issues before taking any formal action. In fact, some say the best time to educate oneself regarding the topic is well before the wedding day. This might help prevent contentious disagreements regarding community property, child custody and other related issues if divorce occurs.

One of the main issues in a divorce is property division. This happens to be one of only nine community property states in the nation. Most states use an equitable property system, which means assets may not always be divided equally between divorcing spouses, but will be divided fairly.

Texas and eight other states, however, consider any property acquired through income earned during marriage is jointly owned by both spouses. Prenuptial agreements are sometimes used to circumvent these regulations. For instance, if spouses wish to maintain sole ownership of a business or future potential assets that will be obtained during marriage, such instructions can be included in a signed agreement before the wedding takes place.

Otherwise, the total value of all marital assets, minus the total shared debt, will be calculated to determine net community property to be equally divided in divorce. This means each spouse must receive assets of equal value, not that everything must be divided in half. Any spouse in Texas concerned about valuation of assets or other issues regarding community property can seek guidance by contacting an experienced family law attorney in the area.

Source: lifemanagement.com, "Property Settlements Explained: Equitable Division and Community Property", Accessed on Jan. 26, 2017

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