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Should you keep a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement private?

Most people make the decision to keep their prenuptial or postnuptial agreements private. Usually, this is for good reason, as a prenuptial agreement has a lot of information in it about a couple's assets, liabilities and more.

In many of these documents, one spouse agrees that he or she will "hold the other harmless and indemnify the other" from a liability. An example could be someone who gambles, but his or her spouse has decided that he or she will not be responsible for any judgments or debts that might come from his or her spouse's gambling.

Unfortunately, such provisions in a prenup or postnup will not always keep the other spouse safe. Because Texas is a community property state, both spouses could be held liable. If this should happen, it's up to the spouse who wasn't the one responsible for the debt to get the other person to indemnify him or her.

By making the prenuptial agreement public — by recording it at court — it is then unreasonable for creditors to rely solely on community property rules.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can help both spouses protect assets that were brought into the marriage. Children from a previous marriage can have their inheritances reserved, and business partners can also be protected with a properly-worded prenuptial agreement.

The key is to make sure your prenuptial agreement is legal and binding. Each party should have his or her own attorney review the document in order to make sure each person's interests are taken into consideration. There are other instances where a prenuptial agreement could be ruled invalid; your attorney can provide more information on how to avoid such an occurrence.

Source: Huffington Post, "Prenuptial Agreements/Postnuptial Agreements — Public or Private?," Fred Silberberg, Sep. 08, 2016

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