Congratulations! Mazel Tov! You’re getting married. There is so much to think about before the big day. The venue, wedding cake, color themes, bridal showers and bachelor parties, and the prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a premarital agreement (prenup for short). This is a common legal step before marriage. In Texas, a prenuptial agreement is a contractual means of dividing property before you wed. A common misconception is that only rich people need such an agreement. However, a prenup can be created for anyone who is getting married. Think of it as a business contract that protects your financial future.

There are many reasons to create a prenup. One example is that partners who bring in children from previous relationships may use the agreement to delegate assets that will stay with their biological children. Without it, a spouse can claim the money and/or property. It delegates who the pets go to in case of a separation. It can protect a future spouse from their partner’s debts. If one person is carrying tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, it can serve as a document to show that debt belongs only to that partner. Finally, It serves as a document that can ease stress over finances, save time and money in case of a divorce.

Now that we know what a prenup is, let’s review the Do’s and Don’ts of prenuptial agreements.

Understand Prenuptial Agreements  and Laws

Prenup Do’s

It is a basic agreement that can list assets that partners bring into the marriage such as investment accounts, and property.  It can state how assets acquired in the marriage will be divided in the unfortunate case of a divorce. Other specific details can be included such as financial support for the spouse who stays at home with children during the marriage. You’re signing a legally binding document that could alter your rights and obligations after the marriage. You should consider getting the expert advice of a lawyer when going through your assets.

Do Talk About Prenups

A prenuptial agreement may not be the most romantic thing to talk about while you’re planning your wedding, but avoiding the discussion could end up being a huge mistake.

Bring up the topic with your partner. Just because they do not mention a prenuptial agreement,  doesn’t mean it is not on their mind. Having open communication is important in every relationship. Even if it you are solid and committed to each other, protecting yourself is just financially smart.  Like with any other conversation about your future, money is important to talk about with your future spouse.

Earlier is Better

You don’t want to find out the day before the wedding that your spouse wants a prenup. It is advisable to begin the process at least 8-9 months ahead. It is best to have a signed document six months before you walk down the aisle or enter the chuppah. That way it can be completed well ahead of the wedding day and you can put your mind at ease.

Do Consider This Carefully

Think carefully about the agreement. You should consider all factors and not just breeze through it to make your partner happy or your family feel at ease. It is vital that each of you objectively discusses what you own. Avoid settling for term you are not comfortable with. The discomfort over perceived ( or real) inequalities and unfairness can tarnish the relationship. Come up with terms that you both feel is fair and equitable in your situation.

Do Get Different Lawyers

Both parties should feel confident and secure when it comes to the prenup document. However, that may be challenging to accomplish if you’re both working with the same lawyer. Hiring separate attorneys will help you both make sure you reach a fair and reasonable prenuptial agreement.

Our expert family law attorneys can help you create a prenuptial agreement that will work for you.  Remember, the lawyer you hire is looking out for your best interests.

Prenup Don’ts

Don’t Allow Emotions To Prevail

If the document is causing undue stress and fighting, take a short break from the process. It is better to wait until you are able to put your emotions aside and be able to proceed with your best interests in mind. Prenups in Texas cannot be used to avoid credit card debt or taxes . Also, a prenup cannot be used to set up unfair terms alimony or child support. However, it can be used to protect you and your heirs’ rights.

Remember, this is your financial future and you want to ensure that you are creating an agreement that both of you are comfortable with.

Don’t Discuss Details With Family and Friends

The prenuptial agreement is between you and your future spouse or live in partner. Family and friends may have your best interests at heart but will not be able to offer objective advice. A lawyer will be able to use his or her expertise to give you objective guidance that incorporates has your best interests.

Don’t Worry About a Completed Document

Our trusted lawyers will take care of the document and ensure you are getting an agreement that suits both of you. Once the prenup is signed, put it in a lock box and focus on the other aspects of wedding planning. There is no need to stress needlessly over the agreement.

While it can feel like an arduous process and difficult to talk about, a prenuptial agreement is there as a protection for both parties. Good communication is the key to any relationship, especially when it comes to difficult topics like money and property.  The prenuptial agreement is meant to give you both a document to reference in the event of a divorce. Let our experienced lawyers help you both go forward in the marriage with a sense of security that you have a legal document that secures your financial future.

Call Cross Family Law today at (972) 655-9880 to learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help you with your prenuptial agreement.