The annual Valentine’s Day holiday is a reminder of how much importance we place on letting our significant others know how much we care about them. The well-prepared have already made romantic dinner reservations, ordered flowers, purchased jewelry or other fine gifts, written thoughtful love-notes on cards– or some combination of those traditional gestures – while the not-so-well-prepared will be hitting up drugstores and Amazon Prime for packages that say, “I love you.”
Some, of course, will even plan the grandest, most romantic gesture of all – a marriage proposal. For those who make proposals and those who say yes, the holiday will be an annual reminder of the decision to make that pledge to commit to one another forever and ever.
But, as we all know, even couples with the best intentions to stay together sometimes find themselves, unexpectedly, seeking divorce. This is why, soon after the romantic proposal is made and accepted – or even before a marriage proposal is made – it’s a good idea for couples considering marriage to assess the need for a prenuptial agreement. Here are a few reasons why a prenup is a good idea.
A prenuptial agreement can be the foundation for a stronger, happier marriage.
The main reason to create a prenuptial agreement is to help couples start their new life together on firm footing. Prenuptial agreements provide couples with a secure structure to have crucial conversations about their expectations and goals as a married couple.
Prenuptial agreements provide engaged couples with a framework for identifying the property they bring into the marriage and ways to preserve and handle the property in the event of death or divorce.
A well-written prenuptial agreement allows a couple to protect the assets they bring into a marriage while they’re still very much committed to each other and can come to an agreement on what’s fair and just. Without a prenuptial agreement, a divorcing couple has to make those same determinations about what’s fair and just in a very different emotional state – one in which each partner might feel entitled to a larger share in response to feelings of anger or fear.
Who benefits from a prenuptial agreement?
Contrary to popular belief, prenuptial agreements are not just for high-net-worth and high-asset couples; they are for anyone who has worked hard to achieve what they have in life. When thinking about marriage, many couples turn to prenuptial agreements to state their wishes to questions such as: What will happen to my property after I marry? How can I protect my business just in case we divorce? How do I protect my separate property? How can I have certainty in the event of a divorce?
Prenuptial agreements can also be helpful to couples who enter marriages from different financial positions. For example, suppose one partner makes less money than the other or carries more debt. In that case, a prenuptial agreement can alleviate some of the pressure that a financial disparity between spouses can create.
Prenuptial agreements can also help those couples who do end up divorcing from extensive litigation over finances. If a couple must continue to work together after a divorce – especially raising children together – a prenuptial agreement can make for a less contentious divorce process, and a better relationship moving forward from the divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are an entryway to discuss financial goals and expectations.
It’s helpful for couples to go into the prenuptial process with the idea that prenuptial agreements are not one-size-fits-all. Instead, it can be a process in which partners make legal determinations about the assets they each bring into a relationship and provide an entryway for a couple to talk about financial goals and how they’ll approach finances together.
Being upfront about finances at the outset, through the prenuptial agreement process, can help couples maintain a healthy, open discussion about money – avoiding the secrecy and avoidance around finances that has led far too many couples down an inevitable path to divorce.
Building a secure future together.
At Goranson Bain Ausley, our approach is to minimize the destruction of divorce. Working with clients to create a prenuptial agreement is one way we help couples get into the mindset of working together to resolve financial issues and commit to the long-term success of both partners.
Chandler Rice Winslow has been named D Magazine Best Lawyers Under 40 for 2022. She has experience in business and real estate law in addition to representing a wide variety of clients in family law, including working and non-working mothers. Chandler understands how a business operates and works closely with business owners on identifying separate and community property. She is also sought after for drafting pre-and post-nuptial agreements and solving highly contested custody issues.
To learn more about premarital agreements in Texas, please contact Chandler Winslow at 214-373-7676.
Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law and will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you have the information you need to make wise decisions and prepare for the future.