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Prenuptial agreements: what they are and what they can do

Of all the questions that people have when they get married in Texas, few may be about divorce issues. However, many marriage experts and financial advisors agree that discussing the possibility of divorce prior to getting married can help couples build the foundation for a solid union. Developing a prenuptial agreement can help people maintain their personal property rights, while outlining the financial terms of a marriage before it begins.

Chapters 4 of the Texas state Family Code explains that a prenuptial agreement is a written contract that is signed by two people and goes into effect at the time of their marriage. Prenuptial agreements can outline any number of obligations and rights, but typically account for the identification and division of marital property in the event of divorce. As a result, the establishment of a prenup can have a significant impact on both spouses’ lives.

Discussing the importance of prenuptial agreements, US News explains that most couples can benefit from having a prenup, no matter their income level or age. Texas is a community property state, meaning that marital property is generally divided evenly in divorce. There are many circumstances under which such property division practices can be considered unfair and/or inappropriate. For instance, dividing credit card debt or student loans between divorcing parties is not necessarily the best option in many cases. Assigning various types of individual debts and personal assets in a prenuptial agreement can go a long way to safeguard each person’s financial security in the long-term.

Another advantage that a prenuptial agreement can offer is the opportunity for couples to discuss individual and joint financial concerns before getting married. Understanding where they stand on topics like spousal support and sharing expenses can be incredibly helpful in family planning and other matters.

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