Family lawyers in Houston, TX are often told that couples who create a prenuptial agreement are basically saying that they plan to get divorced some day. That could not be farther from the truth! Actually, prenuptial lawyers in Houston see first-hand how these important documents can actually help keep a marriage intact…and not out of fear of alimony, either.
Financial problems are one of the biggest causes of divorce in the United States. Couples in love often get married and head blindly into the most complex financial arrangement of their lives. Those who take the time to meet with a family lawyer and develop a prenuptial agreement, however, can almost completely avoid much of the drama that other couples will likely face.
Sure, prenuptial agreements can lay out what happens in the case of a divorce, but more importantly, they can lay out what happens during the course of a marriage. Each partner and their lawyers work together to identify income and assets and then to plan for how it will be handled. Who is in charge of what? Does the money all go into a single pot, or does each spouse keep separate accounts? What means will you use to plan for the future? What about children from a previous relationship?
By addressing these and other financial issues, couples are able to make sure they have compatible expectations before ever walking down the aisle. They can also avoid getting stuck later because they both have a written agreement about how finances will be handled. Instead of seeing a prenuptial as being there in case of divorce, it makes more sense to see it as a means of avoiding that outcome.
Couples are encouraged not to wait until the last minute to talk about a prenuptial agreement. Really, putting together this kind of plan can be a lot of fun, as it allows you to dream together about the future you want and create a plan to reach it. In order to make sure that the prenup is upheld, however, you will want to take a couple of precautions. For example, each partner should have his or her own family lawyer in order to make sure everyone’s interests are being fairly considered. It is also important to make sure that all financial information is disclosed. You are about to get married, after all, there should be trust and honesty between you. And, if there is not…perhaps the planning helped you avoid using the prenup later.
A Special Note About Blended Families
The laws of inheritance are often not flexible enough to account for today’s modern life. For example, a surviving spouse may automatically inherit a deceased spouse’s estate, even if the latter has children. When the second spouse also passes away, the entire estate goes to his or her children due to blood lines, rather than to the step-children. That’s right, children from a previous marriage could end up totally (and legally) without anything. This is an issue that family and estate planning lawyers have seen too many times and one that the prenuptial agreement can account for up front.