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Prenuptial agreements

Texas couples about to marry may not want to think about the possibility of getting a prenuptial agreement. The word "prenup" is a charged one, and some people believe it translates to a mistrust of a spouse or lack of faith in a relationship. In many cases, though, prenuptial agreements protect assets that the parties have going into a marriage. They can be especially important when one spouse makes significantly more money than the other.

However, in Texas, a prenuptial agreement can be as extensive or limited as a couple chooses. It's possible to make it so a married couple has no community estate, which means that, if they divorce, there will be no community property to divide. It also means that the higher-earning spouse may not have to worry about sharing wages earned over the marriage in the event of the divorce.

For couples considering a prenup, it's important to understand what an agreement can and cannot do. While a meticulous agreement may seem solid, it more often than not will be challenged in court in the event of a divorce. They may be questioned if they were created too close to the actual marriage, as one party may assert it was created under duress. He or she may also argue that there were errors in the procedure used to create the document.

Divorce can be trying when it happens and difficult to think about before it does, but for many couples, creating a prenuptial agreement can help create peace of mind during a marriage. A person about to be married may benefit from talking to a lawyer about creating such an agreement. Starting a conversation early will enable couples to discuss finances in depth before the wedding.

Source: Madame Noire, "Prenup or not to prenup? The decision facing many women today", Ann Brown, July 15, 2014

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