Planning a wedding can be a wonderfully romantic affair. Hollywood culture in the United States in 2018 will lead many inevitably to believe that the planning of one’s wedding is something that the bride has anxiously awaited for her entire life.
Yet, part of planning every wedding today should also include a time where the couple steps away from thinking about flowers and food, and instead talks about the business they are entering into called marriage.
Marriage in Texas means that the state of your financial affairs will change enormously. Where once you owned all of the money you worked for, after paying taxes, now your spouse owns it. While you may love your spouse, this means in a sense that you only own 50% of all of the money you take home during your marriage.
Say that you work for a company for 20 years, and earn a $250,000 retirement fund, and then your spouse sleeps with a co-worker and files a divorce. Your spouse wronged you, but Texas is still going to give your spouse part of your retirement nonetheless.
A prenuptial agreement is a way that you and your spouse can bypass regular Texas rules about your earnings and your property and instead set your marriage and life up the way that you think is right and proper.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that your lawyer writes that provides how your assets and debts will be divided in the face of a divorce. This structure can actually help keep a couple together because the couple set up their own motivating financial consequences for what would happen if vows are broken.
For instance, within the pre-nup, you could simply have a rule that all property will be owned by both parties, but if a person cheats, as so many do, you the non-cheater get to keep the majority of the money in the marriage.
Because you never plan on taking off the ring, it is difficult to approach this conversation with your soon-to-be spouse but merely having the conversation can help you know important values that the other has that, you may have overlooked.
Questions that you have to answer when you are doing your prenuptial agreement include:
- What is your complete current financial situation, including debts?
- Will we be keeping our finances together or separate during marriage?
- Will I get alimony if we divorce?
- Who gets the house if we get divorced.
Since finances are a huge point of contention in marriage often and sometimes a fatal point for couples, these conversations can be life savers to you if you can come to terms before the big “I do.”
Is there anything you can do if you are already married about the division of your property in the face of divorce?
Some spouses call me and tell me that their husband/wife is not working hard and that they are having to do all of the work to make money, save money or raise the kids. The other spouse is not pulling their weight. Laziness of one spouse is actually often told to us as lawyers as a primary reason that a marriage has just come to the end. The working spouse is then devastated when a divorce is filed and they learn that 50% of their assets are going to the “lazy” spouse.
One way that this can be avoided is if you and your possible soon-to-be ex is willing to enter a partition agreement also known as a postnuptial agreement. This is a document that can change the status of your money and earning from community property that both spouses own, to your own property again that only you have a right to. When spouses are wanting to separate in Texas, since there is no such thing as a legal separation, doing a partition agreement is a smart route to take because you can remain in a marriage you are not ready to leave, while still setting up your estate the way you perhaps should have before entering the marriage.
How Can You Get a Prenuptial Agreement or a Partition Agreement?
We at the Cook & Cook Law Firm draft hundreds of complex divorce documents in Texas every year and we are more than equipped to produce a highly professional binding prenuptial agreement for your family.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can vastly change and sometimes truly save the financial picture for a person moving into the future from a marriage gone bad.
Always feel free to call me at (210) 271-2800
Or email: [email protected]