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A prenuptial agreement can ease property division woes

Many Texas residents do not have a full grasp on the range of benefits that a prenuptial agreement provides. Some feel that these marital contracts are only for the ultra-wealthy, while others believe that their specific set of assets would not be protected under the terms of a prenup. The following information is provided as a brief overview of some of the most common elements that are included in prenuptial agreements, and should illustrate some of the ways that a prenup could assist in the property division process.

First, the most common focus of most prenuptial agreements is a discussion of the assets that each spouse will bring into the marriage, as well as any assets that are anticipated in the future. Current assets might include retirement savings or business interests. Future assets would include things like an expected inheritance or proceeds from the sale of a product that has yet to be created (such as an author writing a book, or a software developer who is nearing completion on an app). Within the prenup, each party can list the assets that are to be considered separate rather than marital property.

Another thing that many couples include within a prenuptial agreement is how attorney fees would be handled in the event of a divorce. Some couples agree that in the event that one party were to void the marital contract (through acts such as adultery or abuse) then that party would shoulder the burden for all of the attorney fees, even for the other party. Other couples simply state that the party who is seeking divorce will pay for all legal fees. Of course, if both spouses were to agree to pursue a divorce, then each would typically handle his or her own legal expenses.

When discussing a prenuptial agreement with one's soon-to-be-spouse, Texas residents should remember that there is a wide range of inclusions that can be drafted into this marital contract. The final result can be a document that is highly customized to the needs of the couple, and one which provides protections that cover both parties. Hopefully, the marriage will last a lifetime, and there will be no need to call those protections into service during property division.  

Source: businessinsider.com, "ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER: 'What should I include in a prenup?'", Sophia Bera, April 17, 2016

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