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Discussing prenuptial agreements

Texas residents who are preparing to marry may wonder about the best way to bring up the possibility of a prenuptial agreement. After all, some may think it is unromantic to bring up something that contemplates divorce before the parties are married. However, there are ways to bring up the subject in a way that highlights its benefits without making it sound as if the partner is planning an exit before saying "I do."

It is advisable to start talking about a prenuptial agreement soon after the engagement occurs. That helps avoid a situation where one party feels ambushed or coerced after being handed an agreement at the last second. It is also more likely that a judge will uphold an agreement that the parties had time to negotiate and consider before signing. It is important for the couple to enter the negotiation prepared to give and take, as just as in marriage, a certain degree of compromise may be necessary.

The next step is to be honest about why a prenuptial agreement is requested. Some people wish to protect a future inheritance or have a family history of messy divorces. If the partner understands the reasoning behind the request, it can help facilitate an agreement. The partners also must be transparent, as the agreement will only be enforceable if both spouses fully and honestly disclose their financial situations. The agreement should also address things that might happen in the future, such as one spouse leaving work to raise children.

Certain subjects, such as child custody or child support, will not be enforced by courts and accordingly have no place in a prenuptial agreement. Each party may wish to have separate counsel review the agreement to help ensure that it will be legally valid and binding.

Source: The Huffington Post , "How to Request a Pre-Nup and Still Get Married", Daniel Clement , January 24, 2014

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