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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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The benefits of prenuptial agreements

When two people decide to get married in Texas, they may not be considering a prenuptial agreement. However, according to a recent article, the documents are apparently gaining in popularity, suggesting that many individuals wish to protect their rights and their separate property.

During the division of property, a couple's assets can be categorized in two ways. One category is separate property, which cannot be divided. The other category is marital property, which is subject to division according to the laws of the state where the divorce occurs. In many cases, prenuptial agreements are useful for shielding certain assets, such as inheritances, real estate and items of sentimental value, from property division if a divorce occurs.

While it may be an uncomfortable topic for new couples, discussions about finances and the possibility of divorce may be important for younger individuals between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. Discussing a prenuptial agreement can be a starting point for these important discussions. In addition, the document may make divorce proceedings easier if the couple chooses to end their relationship in the future. This is because the documents usually outline how to handle many of the contentious issues that the couple might face when dissolving the marriage. For example, a prenuptial agreement might include guidelines for ownership of a family home and it might offer a baseline for negotiations concerning child support and alimony obligations.

While a prenuptial agreement might make divorce simpler, there are still a number of areas that may be subject to dispute. Because the proceedings might affect a person's lifestyle in the future, it may be important to understand one's rights and obligations before engaging in negotiations with the other party. An attorney who is familiar with family law may be able to help a client pursue his or her interests throughout the proceedings.

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

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