Most spouses would say, that on their wedding days, they had no intention of getting divorced. In fact, it is reasonable to assume that a bride and groom taking vows expect to remain together for the long haul. Unfortunately, statistics show that this happens only about half the time.
This may be the motivation behind the increase in prenuptial agreements, especially among millennial couples. Just as those who purchase auto insurance hope they never have to use it, so many who establish a prenup hope they will never need its protection. Nevertheless, having those protections in place can be a wise move and can prevent many of the arguments that later tend to destroy the marital relationship.
Who decides how you will divorce?
The state of Texas, like other states, has laws in place to theoretically make divorce as fair as possible. These laws relate to how you will divide your property, share custody of your children and potentially support one another after a divorce. If these seem like very personal decisions to you, you are right, and a prenuptial agreement can help you keep those decisions out of the hands of a judge, who doesn’t know either of you.
One benefit of a prenup is that those issues that can become contentious and bitter in a divorce can be resolved in an atmosphere of mutual respect before marriage while you and your future spouse are still more likely focused on each other’s best interests.
Some reasons why a prenup may be especially valuable to you include the following:
- You own property or have investments prior to the marriage, or you plan to acquire these after you get married.
- You have substantially more assets than your future spouse.
- You earn much less than your future spouse or expect to leave your job to raise children.
- One of you has a high level of debt.
- One or both of you have children from a prior relationship.
- You plan to acquire pets during your marriage.
If keeping assets separate during the marriage is important to you, a prenuptial agreement can protect those assets from property division. Additionally, a prenup can help you make decisions about how you will repay debt or save for the future. You can also outline a plan to provide for a spouse who makes financial sacrifices during the marriage, such as working while you earn your degree, paying off each other’s loans, or giving up a career to raise a family.
Drafting a prenuptial agreement is not something you should do at the last minute before your wedding because the courts may look unfavorably on an agreement that did not allow time for careful consideration and independent review by an attorney selected by and paid for by your spouse. Additionally, it is wise for both you and your intended spouse to consult with an experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County or Denton County, or elsewhere throughout Texas to ensure that your rights are well protected.