Houston Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
Prenuptial agreements are a form of marital contract that can be drawn up in order to outline how any assets are likely to be disposed of in the event of a divorce. Once they were primarily the domain of high net worth individuals seeking to protect their assets from the possibility of a future divorce settlement. These days, however, people from every segment of society use them much more widely. A prenuptial agreement is about so much more than protecting assets. They can be used to provide a useful set of guidelines relating to behavior in the marriage and simplify divorce procedures should the couple decide to divorce at some stage in the future.
When Prenuptial Agreements are Signed
A prenuptial agreement is not written because a person is planning to get divorced. Rather, it is written because he or she would like to be prepared for any eventuality. About fifty percent of marriages today end in divorce. Out of every five couples that are married, two of them will file for divorce at some stage in the future. Divorce is a reality for a great many people, prenuptial agreements outline the course of a divorce before it even occurs and have the potential to save a great deal of time and money.
Prenuptial agreements are particularly useful to people that are entering into their second or third marriage. They may be paying or receiving child support for children born in previous marriages. The prenuptial agreement can be used to protect any of their assets that they intend to set aside for their children. The prenuptial agreement can also protect a portion of their assets to allow them to provide child support in the event that they once again divorce. In general, people that have been married before and have been through the divorce process before are more open to the idea of a prenuptial agreement.
Why Prenuptial Agreements are Signed
“Prenuptial agreements” can be used to prevent a spouse from claiming family wealth in a settlement. A perfect example is if one partner is involved in a family business. That partner might own a portion of the family business but in the event of divorce, their spouse might claim a portion of it. This can destroy the dynamics of a business and bring in a third party that really should not be involved. It is one thing if the spouse has played a part in building a family business but it is another entirely if that business has been successful prior to the marriage.
Prenuptial agreements can protect any future inheritances that may come to a spouse. If a spouse stands to gain an inheritance at some stage in the future, they may wish to protect it from any future settlement claims. This can give peace of mind that the marriage is not financially motivated and can be used to protect a fortune just as easily as it can protect a modest inheritance.
It is sometimes the case that there is a vast disparity in the wealth and earning potential of two parties going into a marriage. In such situations it would seem unfair that a spouse have claim to an equal share of assets that he or she was of no assistance in generating. Prenuptial agreements can outline how assets that were generated prior to marriage should be handled in the event of a divorce.
Prenuptial Agreements: Beyond Finances
Prenuptial agreements have a place beyond financial matters as well. They can be used to provide a useful set of guidelines as to behavior that is unacceptable within the marriage. A prenuptial agreement can provide for more than one outcome and factor in different circumstances that could lead to divorce. Many prenuptial agreements carry clauses for infidelity, substance abuse, spousal or child abuse and unacceptable practices. While being inflexible in nature, prenuptial agreements need to provide for a range of courses of action.
Finding a Family Law Attorney
The first step in creating a prenuptial agreement is to speak to a family law attorney. Your divorce lawyer will discuss the situation with you and help to create a document that covers your specific needs. A competent family law attorney is crucial in creating an uncontestable contract. Poor wording can leave the door open to future challenges. This is why one should not attempt to create his or her own prenuptial agreement. A family law attorney has the experience and the expertise that are required to draw up a legitimate document.
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement meaning either spouse must accept it or it is invalid. Presenting a prenuptial agreement to a spouse is not always met with a warm response. You will need to use your discretion as to what is the best way to bring up the topic. Generally, an upfront approach is the best. Explain the reasons why you feel the need to enter into a prenuptial agreement. If your spouse refuses to accept the agreement then you might wish to revise it with their input.
If you are considering getting married but you would like to prepare yourself for any possible outcome then a prenuptial agreement is one way to do so. If you have any questions concerning prenuptial agreements, you should consult your family lawyer as he or she is a great source of professional advice.
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