When Texas couples consider marriage that involves two existing families, they may have many unique issues that need to be addressed prior to getting married. Research into social trends shows that 40 percent of adults in the United States have a step-relative — whether that be a parent, sibling or child. It found that although many combined families get along amicably, biological kin is believed to create a stronger feeling of responsibility in most adults. In order to protect the interests of both families, a well-drafted prenuptial agreement may be appropriate.
Addressing issues prior to marriage may avoid disputes and even litigation in the future. It requires both parties to be open and candid about all financial matters. The guidance of a family law attorney experienced in step-family issues may be beneficial. Blended families often require both parties to respect financial obligations to respective family members.
In addition to elder care and child care, complicated matters such as business, investment and real estate assets may have to be addressed. Both partners will need to be open about existing loans, bad credit, and any cosigned loans that may exist. These matters could affect the purchase of a home or vehicle. A prenuptial agreement can specify details concerning certain assets and whether they will be shared or designated for others. Similarly, investment or business assets which are already committed to a family member or another party can be recorded in the agreement.
It is not uncommon for financial issues to create contention in a marriage, and with a blended family, the potential issues that may arise are multiple. An experienced Texas family law attorney can provide guidance and support in the negotiation and drafting of a prenuptial agreement that will address all issues and seeks to protect the interests of both families. While divorce is not commonly considered while planning a wedding, a binding prenuptial agreement may be beneficial in the unfortunate event of a divorce in the future. To that end, both parties will want to retain their own counsel to ensure that individual interests are addressed.
Source: pleasantonweekly.com, “Yours, mine and ours: Planning step-family finances“, Jason Alderman, Dec. 29, 2014