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Prenups benefit Texas couples of all ages and wealth levels

These days, many soon-to-be married partners in Texas want a little financial protection just in case their marriage is among the approximately 50 percent that fail. Many states recognize prenuptial agreements as contracts that add up and define separate and marital property.

Couples who sign prenuptial agreements want a clear split of what they own in the event of divorce and death. Agreements are made usually within six months of marriage and provide protections for both partners.

Prenuptial contracts have been forged to protect assets in situations where one spouse comes into a marriage with considerably more wealth than the other spouse. A generation-to-generation gift or inheritance can be included as the individual property of one spouse.

Even spouses who marry young or have few assets at the start of marriage can benefit from a premarital contract. A fiancé expected to graduate from law or medical school has the potential to make a considerable future income. That expected asset can be incorporated into a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is practical. A couple that decides how assets should be divided under amicable circumstances is preferable to spouses who fight about possessions during divorce.

Prenuptial agreements give more control over assets to spouses and less to judges, who might later divide them. Especially in Texas, a community property state, couples without prenuptial agreements might later be forced to share assets.

Another advantage to prenuptial agreements is the opportunity for both people entering marriage to understand the couple's financial situation fully. Assets must be tallied and recognized before any division can be made. Partners get a full picture of what each person has.

Legal advisers say a couple's best approach to take with a prenuptial agreement is to see it as signing a business deal.

Source: CNBC, "The power of the prenup," Lauren Young, June 5, 2012

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