A recently-engaged couple in Texas experiences a special time when they are affectionate and optimistic about the future. Taking advantage of these positive vibes and energy can help them prepare a pre-marital agreement (also known as a prenuptial agreement) to deal with the possibility of divorce. This dialogue may also have the chance of lowering the odds of separation.
Asking for marriage is not the only question engaged couples should pose. Financial issues can become another unromantic party to a romantic relationship and are one of the top reasons for divorce. Seeking information on each other's financial status is essential and may lead to consideration of the benefits of a prenuptial agreement.
After getting married, it may be depressing to enter a contract addressing what happens if the couple ever divorces. Like prenuptial agreements, however, these post-nuptial agreements can help a couple in Texas if they ever end their marriage. In some cases, these agreements may also strengthen their marriage.
In Texas and elsewhere, prenuptial agreements are usually drafted with the intent of avoiding disputes over divorce legal issues such as alimony and property division. More recently, these agreements have addressed more unique issues and even lifestyle behavior during marriage.
Prenuptial agreements have a bad reputation. If a future spouse asks his or her partner to sign one, feelings of mistrust may arise. Words like "gold digger" and phrases like "don't you trust me?" have become natural reactions to these kinds of contracts. People feel uncomfortable signing or even discussing the possibility of creating a prenuptial agreement because of its negative connotations.
There are specific requirements for a prenuptial agreement to be valid. Couples who are considering a prenuptial agreement should, of course, not only understand the variety of benefits a prenuptial agreement provide but also what the requirements are for a prenuptial agreement to be valid. Prenuptial agreements can be used to protect assets, including a family business, and clarify financial expectations for the couple, however, if it is not properly executed, it may not be valid.
Prenuptial agreements seem to be staging a bit of a comeback. While for many years, the idea of asking a proposed marital partner for a legal agreement that contemplated the ending of the relationship prior to death was considered unromantic at best, and incredibly tacky at worst, there seems to be more acceptance of the idea recently. This may be due to millennials being more likely to cohabitate before marriage and being more likely to see finances as separate rights, rather than something to collectivize.
In previous blog posts, we have discussed some of the advantages of forming a prenuptial agreement, or prenup. Although it may be an initially uncomfortable discussion for a soon-to-be married couple, the benefits that could be gained in time and money saved in the event of a divorce are hard to ignore. In addition, a prenuptial agreement can be helpful for couples to establish "rules" or procedures regarding finances and other marital tasks during the course of a marriage, assuring that both sides are on the same page when they enter into the marriage.
For couples in the verge of their wedding, the last thing they might want to talk about is the possibility that their marriage ends in divorce. Yet the sad reality is that about half of marriages in the United States, including Texas, ultimately end in divorce.
One of the many services our family law attorney, who is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, offers her Dallas area clients is advice and assistance with drafting prenuptial agreements. For those who are not married, similar agreements, called "partition/exchange" agreements are available. Texas couples that are already married are allowed to sign enforceable "postmarital agreements," which have the same effect as prenuptial agreements but for their timing.