Prenuptial agreements (or “prenups”) get a bad rap. To be fair, it is not a particularly romantic subject and when marriage is right around the corner, couples may have difficulty discussing the possibility of divorce. The truth is that if a marriage ends, a well-drafted agreement can help couples to avoid costly and time consuming litigation by solving potential financial issues before they arise. While every family will have a unique situation, prenups may work for many spouses and they can play a critical role in protecting expensive property.
What Property Can Be Included in a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is effectively a contract that allows spouses to determine how property is to be classified and distributed in the event of a divorce. Why is this important? Texas is a community property state, meaning that without a prenup, property acquired by either spouse during a marriage (that is not a gift or an inheritance) is owned jointly and subject to just and right division upon divorce. While the division of assets can be a central point of dispute in any divorce, spouses who possess substantial assets must give this area special consideration.
Expensive assets which can be named in a prenuptial agreement include:
- Retirement and investment accounts
- Business interests
- Investment properties or vacation homes
- Luxury items such as antiques, jewelry or artwork
- Separate property such as inheritance
A common misconception is that a prenup only protects the spouse with a greater wealth. However, when created in an atmosphere of open communication and trust, it can be greatly beneficial for all parties involved. A prenup gives couples the option to decide on the financial terms of a divorce themselves. Without an agreement, all marital property will be subject to the state law regarding the division of assets and disputes can take place amidst intense emotions such as frustration or anger.
Legal Guidance for Prenuptial Agreements
Couples have many valid, important reasons to address a wide spectrum of matters in advance of marriage. If you and your spouse are considering a prenuptial agreement and would like to learn more about your legal options, we invite you to give us a call and talk to our team about your goals. Our legal team is here to ensure that your marital agreement protects what's most important to you, and to help you start your new marriage off on the right foot by preventing future conflict. Who Is Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, P.C.? We are a Houston family law firm that provides reliable solutions for complex situations. We know the ins-and-outs of family law, particularly as they relate to premarital and postmarital agreements and the division of complex property. Our family law practice is led by Shareholder- Leanna Cannon who is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Board Certification is a mark of excellence and a distinguishing accomplishment.
Call (713) 909-7323 today and speak to our Houston family law attorneys.
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