The Benefits of Having a Prenuptial Agreement: Protecting Your Future Together

September 10, 2023

It is a stat no one wants to think about, particularly when they are planning a wedding, but approximately half of all marriages end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between two people who intend to wed. Also called prenups, these contracts settle many important issues. Through a prenup, you can outline who owned certain property before the marriage, how marital property will be divided, and more. 

While you may not want to raise the topic of a prenup as you plan your wedding, these legal contracts have many benefits. Below, our Houston family law attorney outlines what these are.

Avoid a Complex Divorce

Not all divorces have to be messy legal battles. When there are feelings of frustration and hard feelings, or the two spouses are very contentious towards each other, a divorce can become much more complicated. Add financial issues to these feelings of resentment, and a divorce case can become explosive. A prenuptial agreement can help you avoid all of this. With most financial issues outlined in the prenup, many of them are already resolved and your divorce can simply follow what the document stipulates.

Young Couples Can Benefit From a Prenup

 It is a common misconception that prenuptial agreements are best utilized by older couples. Today, many younger people are marrying later in life than their parents and grandparents did. When a person marries in their late 20s, early 30s, or even later, they have typically already amassed a significant amount of wealth and assets. A prenup can protect your existing investments and assets, including business ownership, inheritance rights, and other sources of wealth.

Older Couples Also Benefit

Anyone getting married can benefit from a prenuptial agreement, including older couples. When older couples wed, it is often their second or third marriage. Unfortunately, the divorce rate for these marriages is much higher than that of first marriages. A prenuptial agreement can make the divorce process much easier if the marriage does not work out. Additionally, older couples have also had more time to accumulate wealth, and a prenup can protect it.

Determine the Division of Marital Assets

The division of marital assets is one of the most complex issues during divorce. A prenup can outline how you will divide them in the event your marriage does not work out. For example, if you are a business owner and plan on operating it after you get married, a portion of the company will be considered a marital asset if you get a divorce. A prenup can stipulate that you retain all rights to the business after the marriage and that your spouse does not have a claim to any portion of it.

Resolve Spousal Maintenance Issues

A Houston family law attorney will tell you that you cannot include any provisions pertaining to child support in a prenuptial agreement. This is because the child has a right to support, and parents cannot waive that right on their behalf. However, a prenuptial agreement can resolve issues regarding spousal maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony. 

This is of particular importance when one spouse is planning to leave the workforce to maintain the home and take care of the children. Due to the fact that the stay-at-home spouse may have a reduced earning capacity post-divorce, a prenup can provide them with the spousal support they need.

Protect Against Your Spouse’s Debt

One of the main purposes of a prenuptial agreement is to determine how assets will be divided during divorce. However, these contracts can also protect you from being liable for your spouse’s debt. On average, American households carry approximately $140,000 in debt. If your soon-to-be spouse carries a lot of debt, or they will in the future, a prenup can protect you from it. For example, if you know your spouse is going to go to school during the marriage and will use student loans, a prenup can ensure you will not have to pay that debt post-divorce.

Clarify Financial Expectations

When drafting a prenup, you and your partner will have to disclose financial information, such as the assets and debt you currently have. While this process may not sound very romantic, that is not the case. In fact, a prenup can foster open communication and help you and your partner have a better understanding of the other’s obligations, financial goals, and responsibilities. If you can address these financial issues before the wedding, it can help you reduce misunderstandings and conflicts about money during the marriage.

Protecting Beneficiaries

It is not uncommon today for people to have children from another relationship when they marry. In these instances, a prenup can be especially valuable. A prenuptial agreement can define how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death, and provide for each of your beneficiaries, including children from a previous relationship. This can provide both of you with peace of mind and help you avoid future disagreements about financial support or inheritances.

Making the Marriage About the Relationship

If you have a great deal more wealth than your partner, a prenuptial agreement can make sure your property and assets are protected. It will also give you the peace of mind that your partner is marrying you for love, and not for what you own.

Providing an Easy Way Out

It is a sad but true fact that many people remain in unhappy marriages because they do not think they can financially support themselves. Or, one spouse may have become accustomed to a certain standard of living during the marriage and do not want to give that up. A prenuptial agreement can give both parties the confidence to leave a marriage in the event it ever becomes unhealthy.

Our Family Law Attorney in Houston Can Draft Your Agreement

A prenup can provide you with a great deal of protection, but they must be drafted properly in order for them to be enforced. At Integrity Law Group, PLLC, our Houston family law attorney can draft a contract that will protect your best interests now and in the future. Call us today at (832) 263-1828, or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and learn more.

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