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Prenuptial agreements may be more solid if planned in advance

Texas couples headed towards the altar have a host of preparations to make, especially now with wedding season in full swing. Whether marrying for the first, second or even third time, though, many couples may be considering the benefits of a prenuptial agreement.

Indeed, a prenup can produce many benefits for an engaged couple. The process of planning one can help couples prioritize their life as a married couple, and it can also force couples to confront any key differences before the honeymoon phase is over.

In the event of divorce, a prenuptial agreement can protect each spouse's property interests. Texas is a state in which the community property system of property division prevails. This means that all marital property, or property acquired during the course of the marriage, is potentially subject to division upon divorce.

A prenup can clearly outline the plan for post-divorce property division, which is why so many couples choose to have a prenup instead of a huge dispute, if the marriage were to not endure. Still, despite the many benefits of prenups, the timing of a prenup may affect the extent of those benefits. Some recommend drawing-up the prenup soon after an engagement, but still well before the actual wedding day. This gives both partners time to obtain attorneys, time to create the document and time to negotiate the details. In addition, it avoids rushing the document right before the wedding, when stress levels are high and key considerations can get lost in the frenzy.

Since a prenup is effective on the date of marriage, it is helpful to have at least a little bit of time between the document's signing and the start of the marriage itself. Nevertheless, it is never too late to plan for the future. Couples who are already married in Texas have the option of creating a post-nuptial agreement, which can cover many of the same issues a prenup encompasses.

Source: Lantana Living, "Prenuptial bliss: Negotiate your agreement well before wedding day," June 20, 2014

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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