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Prenuptial agreements lessen pain of divorce

Texas couples in the throes of strong mutual attraction are rarely thinking about the possible end of their relationship. In fact, just the opposite is true if they are planning for a happy future together by virtue of marriage. Some marriages end in divorce, however, and the change symbolizes a good thing and a fresh start.

Sadly, many marriages end acrimoniously, leading to protracted and bitter court battles. However, most post-marriage legal wrangles are rendered unnecessary provided the couple signed a prenuptial agreement prior to exchanging wedding vows.

Simply put, a prenuptial agreement is a written contract containing the terms of separation should a couple desire to terminate their marriage. In drawing up a prenuptial agreement, a couple defines the particulars of who will get what and who will be responsible for what when the partnership is officially dissolved. Ownership of assets, debts, businesses and real estate holdings all should be defined in the agreement.

Not every contingency can be covered in a prenuptial agreement. Child support and child custody matters are not part of prenuptial agreements, nor are behavioral issues included, be they minor, like smoking or even serious, like infidelity.

A couple's understanding of their state's laws is of serious concern regarding the creation of a prenuptial agreement. Texas is one of many states utilizing the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. To find out what the UPAA is and does, Texans should seek advisement from professionals well-versed in its stipulations.

A divorce can sometimes be a painful and costly ordeal. A prenuptial agreement can spare both parties much unwanted and unneeded conflict. Setting expectations ahead of time will allow the individuals a cleaner disengagement and an easier beginning to their new lives. A skilled attorney can help proactively ensure that a prenuptial agreement is upheld or reexamined if it was written unfairly or incorrectly.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Unpacking Prenuptial Agreements,” Caroline Choi, Jan. 31, 2014

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