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Considering prenuptial agreements in Texas

Texas residents may benefit from leaning about why the popularity of prenuptial agreements has been increasing over the past several years. More people are recognizing marriage as an economic partnership with attendant responsibilities and rights, so some are taking measures to protect separate property and maintain its independence. Separate property can be described as assets owned before a spouse entered the marriage. In contrast, anything accrued after that, such as income or real estate, may be considered marital property.

Inheritances and gifts designated to an individual spouse are typically not considered to be marital property. Separate property is not effected by a divorce while marital property is often subjected to equitable distribution. Considering a prenuptial agreement may prove to be practical for spouses of any age group regardless of their personal assets or wealth. Couples are often faced with reality when they begin discussing decisions about how to set up bank accounts, including choosing how funds or automatically withdrawn or deposited.

Lawyers may only be permitted to represent one spouse due to potential conflicts of interest. Sometimes duress, such as a late-term pregnancy, is a factor that must be taken into consideration when drafting the agreement. Often times, lawyers may advise couples to simplify the process by leaving unborn children or spousal maintenance issues out of the prenuptial agreement. A judge may also choose to waive any alimony provisions included in a prenuptial agreement.

Any spouse who is considering the pros and cons of drafting a prenuptial agreement may benefit from conferring with legal counsel. Lawyers may be able to answer specific situations that relate to a couple's particular circumstances or expectations. Legal counsel may also be able to provide a spouse with information that may prove critical to avoiding hardships related to potential divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Prenuptial Agreements: The Ultimate Symbol of Love?", Justine Borer, August 22, 2014

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