Certainty and stability are some of the attractive benefits of marriage.
Unfortunately, those perks typically dissolve in the event of a divorce. Seeing as approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce, the only way that a Texas couple can provide for certainty is to enter into a premarital or prenuptial agreement.
Premarital agreements, often called "prenups", are like insurance policies and umbrellas: you hope to never need them, but you are glad you do when issues arise.
Benefits of a well-drafted premarital agreement include:
Identify Separate Property: Under Texas law, property brought into a marriage and property obtained during the marriage by means of gifts or inheritance are the separate property of the respective spouse. However, when it is time to divide assets it can become difficult to sort out the separate property from the rest of the estate. A well drafted pre-nup will contain schedules of separate property. These inventories will make division much simpler in a contentious divorce.
Communicate Expectations: Entering into a premartial agreement creates an opportunity for couples to discuss and memorialize their hopes and expectations for their marriage. A frank conversation about assets, debts, career aspirations, the division of household labor and child care, and money management can prevent future heartache. Couples can also use a premarital agreement to express expectations about fidelity and longevity.
Exit Plan: While brides and grooms enter marriage with the expectation of a long and happy life together, the reality is that no marriage is 100% divorce proof. Having an exit plan can make the divorce process much less contentious, and therefore less costly in terms of stress, emotion, time, and money.
That being said, if your future spouse wants a prenup, make sure to meet with your own attorney to discuss the long term implications thereof. A trusted advisor can provide you with objective advice and a clearer perspective. And you just might find that these early discussions can help you build a stronger, more stable marriage.