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Do Premarital Agreements Really Work?

There are many different views of prenuptial agreements. Some see it as a sign that one spouse doesn't trust another. It can also be seen as anticipating divorce. However, having a properly drafted premarital agreement can provide peace of mind for both spouses if drafted professionally.

Providing Financial Transparency

Although some may see these agreements in a negative light, sitting down with an attorney to review assets can provide clarity regarding a couple's finances. Nobody plans to divorce when happily engaged and planning a wedding, but having a plan in place for unforeseen circumstances can help in the long run. Finances are often the cause of dispute and even divorce in marriages today, so outlining major assets helps provide couples with full knowledge and understanding of everything each spouse is bringing into a marriage.

The Enforcement of Prenups

If drafted by a knowledgeable attorney, a prenuptial agreement will include proper valuation of assets such as property, retirement accounts and more. When proper valuation takes place, assets can be fairly allocated within a pre-marital agreement, making their division in the event of divorce just. Some assets such as retirement accounts can be difficult to divide due to the pension system involved within the state. Even if a couple agrees to the division of certain assets, the calculations required can complicate things. When all of these factors are taken into consideration upon creating a prenuptial agreement, enforcement can be more seamless.

When Prenuptial Agreements Are Unenforceable

In Texas, there are circumstances in which a premarital agreement may not be enforceable. A few of these situations include one of the parties signing the agreement involuntarily, was not provided with full disclosure of assets and property, not having adequate knowledge of the other party's financial obligations, and more (Texas Family Code - The Marriage Relationship - Subtitle B - Chapter 4 - Subchapter A - Sec. 4.006). In most cases, if a prenuptial agreement is drafted and reviewed with both parties present with an attorney, questions of enforcement should not arise due to the circumstances listed above. There can however be some exception depending on the situation.

If you need a premarital agreement drafted or reviewed, the family law attorneys of Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, P.C. have experience with a wide array of cases involving these negotiations. Our attorneys can also help you determine if your existing agreement is fully enforceable, or if aspects of the document could be in question. Schedule a confidential consultation today.

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