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Blogs from December, 2016

Milam & Fanning, PLLC

When people in the state of Texas are getting ready to walk down the aisle, they naturally expect to live happily ever after with their spouses. However, the reality is that sometimes irreconcilable differences are unavoidable, and, thus, divorce is inevitable. This is why having a prenuptial agreement - or a prenup - in place before embarking on marriage is wise.

What is a prenup?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that enables a couple to document their property and assets and establish their rights to both in their marriage. Wealthy individuals usually use these agreements, but they can be invaluable for people at all levels of income and with varying asset amounts.

The main benefit of drafting a prenup is that it helps you protect your assets. It also protects you from having to assume your spouse's debts in the event of divorce. With a prenuptial agreement, you can also decide how your property will be distributed after you die. Prenuptial agreements are also helpful for clarifying financial responsibilities and rights during your marriage. Finally, with these agreements, if the unthinkable happens, you can avoid costly and lengthy disputes during the dissolution of a marriage.

How do I create a prenup that is valid?

In years past, judges used to scrutinize prenuptial agreements heavily, as they have historically been used to protect wealthy individuals from partners with less financial means. Judges feared that the spouse who was poorer would be forced to sign such an agreement. However, prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common. All states allow them, and women have more of an equal place in American society as compared to past years, so, therefore, do not need as much protection from the courts as they used to. For this reason, most prenuptial agreements today are valid.

What role does the court have in prenups?

Courts today analyze prenuptial agreements carefully, so it is critical that they are done correctly so that they are considered valid. If judges determine prenuptial agreements to be unfair or the agreement fails to meet the state's requirements, these agreements will simply be set aside. A knowledgeable attorney can help you put together a prenup that is justifiable, clear and understandable - one that complies with Texas law and adequately protects your rights and best interests.

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