Entering a marriage often includes conversations on the honeymoon, the caterer and possibly a new home. Marriage planning, even for younger engaged couples in Texas and elsewhere, may also include the exploration of entering a prenuptial agreement.
Texas law governs property division during divorce. However, each spouse may want to develop their own plans on dividing finances under certain circumstances or to address the unknown future. A pre-nup is a legally-binding contract governing the division of a couple’s assets if they ever separate.
A prenup may be important because couples may not be able to predict their future income and property. Later in life, a spouse may own significant assets because of job promotion, successful investments or inheritance. Asset division under Texas law may not comply with a spouse’s wishes.
A prenup may also address large income gaps between spouses and protect their interests. Without this agreement, a spouse may have to provide half of their assets to the other spouse even if they had significantly more resources at the beginning of the marriage. For the other spouse, a prenup can allow retention of certain assets that may go to the richer spouse during divorce.
A prenuptial agreement may also govern division of property where Texas law is unclear or perceived as being unfair to a spouse. These agreements can help avoid costly and lengthy court battles over contested issues in the future. A prenup may also settle matters and expedite a divorce and avoid contentious battles at the end of a marriage.
A prenup discussion, like other conversations on financial issues, may allow the couple to address and resolve important financial matters at the onset of their marriage and encourage disclosure of assets. These talks may bring problems to the forefront and help couples make important decisions on their future.
Each spouse may need to speak to their own attorney to help negotiate and draft this agreement. Legal representation can help couples resolve present and future disputes over the division of their property and protect assets.