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Pros of prenuptial agreements

In Texas, almost any asset that a person acquires during marriage is considered community property. In the event of a divorce, community property is split equally between the two parties. In some cases, separate property that was owned by one spouse prior to marriage may become commingled with community property, making the separate property indistinguishable. Having a prenuptial agreement may be a way to ensure that separate property is protected in a divorce.

Some people may fear that discussing a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage is anti-romantic, but the topic may help younger couples start thinking about and planning for their lives together as a married couple. For instance, couples may want to discuss whether they intend to keep separate or joint checking accounts. If the couple intends to maintain a joint account, they may want to consider whether they will consult each other before making a withdrawal or writing any checks.

For younger couples, the biggest potential separate assets that either person may have are property or monetary inheritances and a separate property home or apartment. One way that assets may become commingled with community property during marriage is if the property in question appreciates in value due to actions taken during marriage, such as making improvements on a home. Prenuptial agreements may also contain special provisions regarding the amount of spousal support that would be provided by one spouse to another following a divorce, although couples may want to ask an attorney about the minimum requirements for alimony in Texas.

If one party decides to hire a family law attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement, the other may want to consider reviewing the agreement with his or her own attorney. Lawyers may also help ensure that any safeguards are taken to prevent a prenuptial agreement from appearing as though it was executed under duress, for instance if the agreement is drafted close to the wedding.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Prenuptial Agreements: The Ultimate Symbol of Love?", Justine Borer, August 22, 2014

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