It is no longer unusual for Texans who are planning to get married to raise the subject of a prenuptial agreement. Divorce attorneys report that these agreements that often guide the terms of a divorce property settlement have become more commonplace. Young people entering their first marriages have expressed interest in them and added to the trend.
Although prenuptial agreements have had the reputation of being only for the wealthy, they are increasingly recognized as useful to many couples. Because these documents generally address financial issues, they are largely used by people who want to designate assets and debts as individual property and not marital property. This is especially attractive to a person who does not want to be saddled with a marital obligation to pay the other partner’s student loan debt. Assets that might be protected include a person’s share in a family business, royalties from intellectual property and an inheritance.
For a prenuptial agreement to play a legitimate role in a divorce, the document should be created under certain circumstances. Both parties should have access to independent legal counsel when negotiating the terms. The agreement must be based upon a full disclosure of each party’s financial status. Sufficient time to review and consider the agreement is generally necessary.
When a marriage comes to an end, one of the more contentious divorce legal issues is often the division of property. In order to avoid having community property divided equally by the family court, the couple may wish to come to an agreement either before they wed or during the marriage itself. An attorney can often assist a client in negotiating such an agreement with the other party.