Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why Dallas couples may choose not to pursue a prenuptial agreement, let’s look at the other side of the issue. Engaged couples will find these points particularly timely and relevant, although remember that a postnuptial agreement can accomplish many of the same goals even after a couple gets married.
Granted, bringing up the subject of a divorce is likely to be at least somewhat difficult for couples getting ready for marriage. But those who do choose to take a serious, objective look at prenuptial agreements will likely find one important advantage right away. That is keeping the court out of important decisions about property division.
In a prenuptial (or post-nuptial) agreement, the couple agrees upon and stipulates what property is considered separate, and thus not subject to property division as in the case of marital property. They may also lay out how to resolve potentially more complicated asset division issues, like business interests, real estate or retirement accounts. A pre- or post-nuptial agreement can even be used to divide up credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage and other debt between partners.
Why bother dealing with these issues up front? Is it worth it? As we discussed last week, for some couples the answer may be no, particularly if they don’t have much in terms of assets going into the marriage. But some advantages of having a prenuptial agreement include reduced time spent in divorce proceedings and the reduced likelihood of a dispute erupting over property division.
And, again, even if you can’t or don’t want to have the conversation before entering a marriage, a postnuptial agreement can be drafted at any time within a marriage itself and provide some of the same protections. A legal professional can provide valuable assistance to couples interested in exploring whether such an agreement may be right for them.