If you are planning to marry in the near future, you are likely not planning on what will happen if your marriage ends at some point. Thinking about death or divorce before you even walk down the aisle may not seem like a romantic prospect, but it can be helpful to think about how you can protect your interests. One way you can do this is by creating a carefully prepared prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement can allow you to make decisions before you are married about how property division will work in case of a divorce, how money and property will be managed during the marriage, and how assets will be divided when the marriage ends due to death. It can also provide various other benefits and provide you with peace of mind before you get married. However, it is prudent to understand the implications of any financial and legal choices you make, and it is helpful to weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks of drafting a prenuptial agreement.
What a prenup can and cannot do for you
A prenuptial agreement can accomplish many things for you. In addition to allowing you to decide how you want property division to work in case of a divorce, it can allow two spouses to outline financial responsibilities during marriage and more. For example, you may want to designate a “joint household account” from which your living expenses will be paid. You may also want to decide if and under what circumstances property will be owned jointly, and whether a surviving spouse will own the property outright in the event of the death of the other spouse.
However, there are limits to what a prenuptial agreement can do. Potential drawbacks and limitations to these types of agreements include the following:
- A prenuptial agreement may require that you relinquish your right to inherit from your spouse’s estate in the event of his or her death.
- A prenuptial agreement may eliminate the creation of any community property that would have been acquired during the marriage.
- A prenuptial agreement can limit your claim to family-owned business assets that increased over the course of the marriage.
- Before marriage, it can be difficult to know what will work in the future, leading to a prenuptial agreement that may have long lasting consequences.
It can be difficult to approach the subject of a prenuptial agreement before marriage. However, these a well-drafted prenuptial agreement can be helpful and provide peace of mind for both people who are preparing to join their lives together and comingle finances.
Consider the Collaborative Process for your Prenuptial Agreement
Too often, the lawyers who are preparing a prenuptial agreement treat the process as if they were negotiating a divorce. However, when done using the collaborative process, the preparation of a prenuptial agreement can provide an excellent way to help prepare both parties for a healthy and successful marriage. With the guidance of marital property attorneys who have handled divorces, we can help anticipate some of the common issues that arise in marriage, and assist in developing creative solutions that help make sure both parties have the security they need as they move into the future together.
Discuss your family law concerns today
It is always worth the effort to avoid potential legal problems in the future. Divorce is complex, and property division is difficult, but having a prenuptial agreement can help you reduce conflict and make the process simpler. If you are unsure of how a prenup can benefit you or what you can do to protect your future, it may help to discuss your concerns with an experienced Texas family law attorney who can explain your options.