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Premarital Agreements: Strengthening the Bonds

Posted on in Complex Property Litigation

Texas divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation attorney, high-asset divorce,A premarital agreement can hardly be considered romantic, but it is an important part of a strong marital foundation. Many couples fight over money issues, and although the issue is normally dealing with debt, dealing with large assets can be every bit as stressful.

By executing a solid premarital agreement, you can eliminate a potential source of conflict before it ever manifests itself in the first place. If there is a high-asset divorce later, a premarital agreement may help narrow the issues, and the spouses might avoid a legal battle that is both financially and emotionally costly.

Who Needs a Premarital Agreement?

Persons who are getting married for the second or subsequent time often have some separate property they want to protect. The cash value often pales in comparison to the emotional value, so the property could be a retirement nest egg or a china cabinet. Second-time spouses also may have children from a previous marriage, so a stepfamily can introduce significant inheritance issues.

Some people look at a prenuptial agreement as an insurance policy. No one expects the house to burn down or a serious car accident, but these things do happen. The policy gives you peace of mind.

What Does It Do?

Under Texas law, there is a presumption that certain items are separate property. However, it is up to the person making the claim to prove the characterization by clear and convincing evidence. In other words, even though it may appear that a rental house is separate property, you still have to prove it. A premarital agreement can serve as that proof.

A prenuptial agreement can also divide the marital estate on a 50-50 basis, or any other agreed proportion. Instead of complying with an order from a judge who does not know your family, you stay in control of your property.

How Do We Make a Prenuptial Agreement?

Courts typically honor any written agreement between the spouses, as long as it was made voluntarily and knowingly. Although there is no requirement that both parties have a lawyer, it may be a good idea, especially if one spouse has a particularly large estate. If circumstances change, most agreements can be modified later, if both spouses agree in writing. If either spouse refuses to sign, for whatever reason, the prior agreement remains in force.

A premarital agreement can make your marriage stronger and a divorce less stressful. For a consultation with a skilled Leander complex litigation attorney, contact our office. We serve families in Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties, as well as other parts of central Texas.

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