Most people get married expecting their new union to last a lifetime. When this doesn’t happen, and the marriage ends in divorce, one of the most common disputes centers on finances and assets. Signing a prenuptial agreement can help protect both parties.
A prenuptial agreement clearly states how assets and debts will be divided between a couple in the event of divorce. While such an agreement might be considered unromantic or indicative of a lack of faith in the longevity of the marriage, it is an excellent way to prevent prolonged court battles that can be both expensive and emotionally daunting.
Before you begin developing a prenuptial agreement, it’s advisable to seek as much information as possible from a prenuptial agreement lawyer in The Woodlands. Contact the experienced family law attorneys at Bolton Law Firm by calling 281-351-7897 to learn more about prenuptial agreements and their benefits.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenup agreement or prenup is a legally binding contract that stipulates how a couple will divide their assets if they choose to divorce in the future. It covers an array of financial issues including whether one spouse will pay spousal support (alimony) or if they will be responsible for each other’s debts.
What Should Our Prenup Agreement Include?
When it comes to crafting prenuptial agreements, one size does not fit all. At Bolton Law, we understand your prenuptial contract needs to reflect your unique situation. You will want to consider your social and financial situation before drafting a prenuptial agreement, and you can include standard language that details how you’ll divide your wealth, assets, and debts in the event of divorce.
Other important considerations include:
- Division of business assets and retirement accounts
- Use of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation for divorce
- Differentiation of separate and community property
- Who will be liable for insurance, mortgage, taxes, and debts
- Whether one party will get to continue to live in the marital home
What Are the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement has many benefits:
Better Communication Between Couples
While the benefits of a prenuptial agreement are obvious in divorce cases, couples who don’t divorce can also benefit. It’s not uncommon for couples to separate over financial issues that come to light after marriage. Drawing up a prenuptial agreement gives them the opportunity to be open about their finances before they tie the knot.
The process of making a prenuptial agreement involves full transparency and disclosure from both parties. This encourages honesty, allowing the couple to be on the same page regarding their finances before they marry.
Another benefit of a prenuptial agreement is protection from debt. A prenup allows both parties to keep certain debts separate. For example, if one party comes to the marriage with significant credit card debt, in a prenup the parties can agree this debt will remain the separate responsibility of the party who originally incurred it. In case of divorce or death, a prenuptial agreement can protect the other party from creditors.
Protect Your Business
A separation or divorce can have a detrimental effect on your business if you are not prepared. A prenup can help to ensure your business is not affected by divorce.
Avoid Potential Emotional and Financial Effects of Divorce
Divorce comes with both emotional and financial risks. A prenuptial agreement lets you mitigate those risks by avoiding costly legal fees and the challenge of navigating complex negotiations when you are under emotional stress.
Provide Both Parties the Security to End Marriage
With the financial uncertainty gone, both parties have the security and freedom to end the marriage. Staying in a union that isn’t working for financial reasons can be harmful to the physical and mental health of everyone involved, particularly the kids. A prenup gives you the ability to make the best decisions for your loved ones without having to base them on finances.
Protect Children Born To a Previous Relationship
If you’ve been divorced before, you may have child support or spousal support obligations that must be accounted for. You may also have certain assets you want to preserve for a child from a previous relationship, and you want to make sure those assets are divided in accordance with your wishes after you die. A prenup can help to achieve these things.
Do I Need a Prenup Agreement?
Whether you need a prenup depends upon both where you live and what you want to accomplish with this kind of agreement. Texas, for example, is a community property state. This means that all assets acquired during the marriage must be divided fairly in a divorce. Separate property such as an inheritance, gifts, and assets owned by an individual prior to the marriage are not usually treated as community property.
If you have specific preferences for the division of assets, or if you have separate property you want to ensure remains yours after a divorce, then we strongly recommend a prenuptial agreement. Additionally, if neither party wants to pay spousal support to the other person, a prenuptial agreement is essential.
Why Should I Hire a Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer in The Woodlands?
There is no legal requirement to hire an attorney to draw up a prenuptial agreement, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire one. Ideally, each party to the impending marriage will have their own legal representative. Depending upon your circumstances and the details of the prenuptial agreement you’re wanting to make, a judge might refuse to enforce it if one of the parties didn’t have a lawyer.
You should hire a prenuptial agreement lawyer in The Woodlands for the following reasons:
Ensuring the Agreement is Valid and Enforceable
You want to ensure that your prenup agreement is valid and enforceable. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the prenup laws in Texas.
If you draft the prenup on your own, you may miss the critical details required for its enforcement. For instance, each party is expected to provide full disclosure of their income, debts, and assets. Failure to do that makes the agreement unfair, and thus not enforceable.
Under the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, your prenuptial agreement must meet the following criteria.
- It must be in writing.
- It must be executed “in contemplation of marriage.”
- It must be fair and just to both parties.
- It must be signed voluntarily.
- There must be full disclosure of assets.
Ascertain Thoroughness and Fairness
A great prenup lawyer will help you comprehend what you’re agreeing to and if it’s fair. Also, you may not be aware of specific things to address in a prenuptial agreement like what happens to the business assets, marital home, etc.
Hire an Experienced The Woodlands Prenup Lawyer Today!
Getting married is one of the most important decisions you can make. If the marriage doesn’t work out, the way in which you handle the financial questions will be significant and could affect almost every aspect of your future.
Even though prenuptial agreements are a controversial topic in society today, the effects of not having one should not be overlooked. By working with the Bolton Law Firm, you can be certain that our seasoned team will represent your interests to ensure you have a prenup that offers peace of mind. Call us today at 281-351-7897 to get started.