Harrell, Stoebner & Russell, P.C.
Now in Temple
and Killeen

The advantages of a prenuptial agreement

You have finally found the right one. Perhaps it was only a short time after that first date that you knew you wanted to be together for the rest of your lives. Now you are making plans to marry, and that can be an intense process. There is so much to do — the dress, the cake, the reception, the honeymoon, the prenuptial agreement.

If the last item on this list is not on your list, you may want to consider why. Did you know that if you and your future spouse don't draft your own prenuptial agreement, the state of Texas has one ready for you?

If you don't decide, who will?

In the unlikely and unfortunate event that you and your spouse should decide to part ways, the courts in Texas have a pre-determined formula for dividing marital property, and it may not match your personal preferences. Marriage advisors suggest young couples plan ahead for dividing their assets instead of allowing a court to make those delicate choices for them.

This may be especially important to you if you own a business. After you invest years, money and effort into building a company, a divorce can easily result in you and your spouse dividing the business as a marital asset, leaving you no choice but to dissolve the company you worked so hard to create.

However, a prenuptial agreement can protect the business if you and your spouse agree that you will keep it as your separate property and not include it when decisions are made about asset division. You can do the same with other assets, such as property that has personal value to you or your spouse. You may even protect one another from taking on each other's debts if the marriage ends.

Preparation and prevention

One practical benefit of a prenuptial agreement is that it forces you and your spouse to have a frank and open conversation about finances before you combine your assets. This may set the tone for communicating for the rest of your marriage. When you consider that couples often cite money as the root of many disputes, getting these matters in the open early may prevent such arguments from taking place.

A prenuptial agreement is not an easy subject to broach with your intended, but the benefits are invaluable. Because there are certain factors required to make such an agreement valid, seeking advice from a legal professional is always recommended.

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