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Prenuptial agreements and how they can help marriages

Compared to the distant past, the social stigma attached to spouses allowing a prenuptial agreement for one another may have lessened. Many couples in Texas may yet have reservations regarding prenuptial agreements, however, possibly thinking that they somehow cheapen a marriage's integrity. It may be better instead to view a prenup as a thoughtful measure that embraces realistic expectations from marriage and life in general.

A prenup can motivate couples who are otherwise preoccupied with romantic notions of their impending marriage to have potentially difficult but important discussions of future handling of finances. It can establish a clear understanding of how each spouse plans to manage bank accounts, real estate and other premarital assets that may or may not become shared during the marriage.

A prenup can emphasize that an expected inheritance must remain solely with the intended spouse if a divorce takes place. It could also protect one spouse from having to provide excessive maintenance after a short-lived marriage by setting terms that could, for instance, limit the amount offered in proportion to the marriage's duration.

Far from casting an automatic no-confidence vote on a marriage, a prenup could help newlyweds enter their commitment with a clearer understanding of one another. It could strengthen their mutual trust by ensuring a fair handling of property division should a divorce come to pass.

When a divorce is inevitable, an attorney could help a divorcing spouse to represent his or her best interests. A legal professional can examine the terms of a premarital agreement to ensure that the division of assets matches those terms. Other factors outside of the prenuptial agreement, such as custody of children who were unborn when the document was signed, may also require careful consideration.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Prenuptial Agreements: The Ultimate Symbol of Love?", Justine Borer, August 22, 2014

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