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Protecting personal business in Texas with prenuptial agreements

A long life of marital bliss is what most Texas couples expect after exchanging vows. Life, growth, raising children and making financial decisions often complicate a marital relationship. When thoughts of divorce are on the horizon, a thorough evaluation of all potential community assets could prove critical to making sure that each partner is left with a fair share. Prenuptial agreements can help ease the uncertainty of business assets should couples go through a divorce.

Business owners who are thinking of tying the knot should have in place a prenuptial agreement to ensure that all properties prior to the big day stay with the party who is most vested in the endeavor. A prenuptial agreement can be drafted and executed by both parties. An attorney well versed in family law can help protect Texas business with a carefully planned prenuptial agreement.

If a prenup was overlooked during those blissful dating days, a postnuptial agreement can be made. This type of agreement is made at any time after the wedding day and is also signed by both parties. These types of marital agreements are recognized in Texas as long as they are properly drafted and executed.

Prenuptial agreements typically state clearly what each party in the marriage is bringing to the union. An agreement that is founded on love and mutual respect can help couples navigate the emotional waters of a divorce, should it ever occur. A family law attorney can help business owners prepare a comprehensive prenuptial agreement, creating peace of mind for the couple and the business.

Source: theglobaldispatch.com, “Avoiding Company Divorce and Failure“, Lolita Di, Jan. 23, 2017


Prenuptial agreements help ease the divorce process

Couples who are considering marriage are often overwhelmed by their emotions. These emotions can cloud their judgment, including potential signs that the relationship may not be compatible in the long-term. Those in Texas who take the time to plan ahead by ensuring they fully understand their options in regards to prenuptial agreements can often ease the process should the relationship end in divorce.

A prenuptial agreement has many important functions. Despite some of the feelings that may be attached to the creation of such a document, they are a commonsense way for couples to come to a full understanding of each person’s assets as well as debts. While some people believe that such agreements are only needed for celebrities, they can be beneficial for any couple in which one person earns significantly more than the other, among other scenarios.

Prenups can include a range of agreements. For example, one can stipulate that the couple will go through mediation if they choose to divorce. While such an agreement can determine who will get the family pet, they can not be used to make determinations about child custody arrangements or child support.

Prenuptial agreements are not documents that can be created and set aside. Because it is important that all details are clear and without ambiguity, some family law professionals recommend updating them approximately every five years. Having an experienced attorney to help those in Texas with the creation and revision process can help ensure that an agreement is fair and enforceable.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, “Plan For A Successful Divorce Before Your Wedding Day!“, Jim Halfens, July 22, 2016


Prenuptial agreements: Important topics to discuss

When a couple decides to marry, there are several important decisions that must be made. In addition to decisions regarding their wedding, couples must discuss many financial issues including where they will leave and how they will pay their bills. Many couples in Texas ultimately decide that exploring the idea of prenuptial agreements can help them fully understand their financial situation and plan for the future.

Creating a prenuptial agreement involves discussions concerning both relatively small and large financial issues. For example, couples can decide how monthly expenses will be handled. In most cases, one spouse typically earns more than the other so it may be appropriate to decide what each person will pay. In addition to monthly expenses, many couples include estate planning elements in their prenuptial agreements. This could be especially important for someone who has children from a previous marriage.

This can also be an opportunity to discuss premarital assets. In most states, premarital assets are not subject to division in the event of a divorce. However, if those assets increase in value during the course of the marriage, the increase may be subject to division.

Many people who decide to go through the process have very little experience with prenuptial agreements. Fortunately, there are experienced professionals in Texas who can help those set to walk down the aisle protect their interests with such a document. By seeking the guidance of such a person, they are better prepared to ensure that the terms of an agreement are fair and enforceable.

Source: Forbes, “5 Things To Keep In Mind When Negotiating A Prenup“, Ginger Dean, April 4, 2016


The importance of honest financial discussions before marriage

There are all sorts of things it can be very important for a couple to have open and honest discussions with one another about prior to marrying. One such thing is finances.

A recent survey, however, indicates that there are quite a few high-asset individuals who aren’t having such discussions with their partner before getting married.

The survey was of millionaires here in the United States. Only six in 10 of the respondents said that, prior to living with or marrying their partner, they gave a full disclosure of their financial situation to their partner. Additionally, three in 10 of the respondents indicated that they didn’t have any financial discussions with their partner.

Why do you think having open and complete financial discussions with their partner prior to marriage isn’t more common among high-asset individuals?

Why are honest financial discussions so important for couples looking to get married (whatever their income level)? Well for one, honest disclosure of financial matters prior to marriage could help reduce the likelihood of financial problems arising during the marriage, such as tensions over “surprise” financial issues. In the above-mentioned survey, couples that reported having financial arguments had a particularly high likelihood not having made full financial disclosures prior to living together or marriage.

Also, such open discussions can help both individuals in a couple have a clear picture of the couple’s financial situation going into the marriage. This can be helpful in a variety of different contexts. For one, it could help if the couple eventually decides to divorce, as having a good idea of overall financial situation can be very important when divorcing.

In addition to discussing financial matters, another finance-related thing it can be important for a person to do prior to getting married is carefully thinking about whether they want to form a prenuptial agreement. Whether or not a prenuptial agreement is present is another thing that can have a big impact if a marriage ends in a divorce. Family law attorneys can provide soon-to-be married individuals with information and guidance on prenuptial agreements and issues related to such agreements.

Source: The Street, “Rich Getting Richer — How Much a Spouse Should Know,” Gregg Greenberg, Jan. 22, 2016


Prenuptial agreements and why you might want one

Every since the advent of the prenuptial agreement, the document has been plagued with a serious stigma of negativity. Indeed, while a lot of people can understand why a wealthy person might want to have a prenuptial agreement in place before entering into holy matrimony (as insurance against a spouse who might simply be marrying him or her to capture the family jewels), there also exists the idea that prenuptials somehow degrade the very institution of marriage itself.

Spouses who are about to get married, however, should consider how many of their friends and family members — who entered marriage with every intention of ‘until death do us part’ — eventually dissolved their marriages through divorce proceedings. Indeed, none of us ever intend to ever get a divorce when we say ‘I do,’ but it tends to happen to the best of couples.

This tendency that the best of couples have of getting divorced should ultimately inspire the best of couples to consider creating a prenuptial agreement. Even low-income couples can benefit from such a document, which is really more of a ‘divorce game plan’ than anything else.

Couples who have a prenuptial agreement in place can enter into and finalize their divorces faster, less-stressfully and far more cheaply than couples who do not have such a legal plan of action already in place. In this light, a prenuptial agreement can and should be seen as a way for two people who dearly love one another to provide a legal framework by which to protect each other from the potential hatred, aggression and difficult emotions that can uncontrollably surface during the divorce process.

At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, we take pride in helping couples develop prenuptial agreements that are founded on their mutual love and respect for one another. If you are about to get married, we are available to discuss different formats for prenuptial agreements that could suit your needs.


What is a ‘love contract’?

One of the benefits of contracts is that they can create predictability in otherwise unpredictable situations. One thing that can have the potential to have a fair amount of unpredictability connected to it is what will happen in regards to financial issues, like division of property, if a married couple breaks up. Thus, it is unsurprising that some couples, when they are about to tie the knot, turn to contracts to address what will happen finance-wise if their soon-to-begin marriage ultimately ends in divorce.

Such contracts are called prenuptial agreements. There are a wide range of different financial issues prenuptial agreements can contain legally binding terms on. Thus, soon-to-be married couples can use prenuptial agreements to create predictability for many potential future divorce-related financial issues. Attorneys can help individuals who are about to get married who are interested in having a prenuptial agreement understand whether such an agreement would be well-suited for addressing financial concerns they have about potential future divorce matters and with drafting prenuptial agreements tailored to their specific concerns and circumstances.

Some couples don’t just want to use contracts to create greater predictability in the event of the breakdown of a marriage, but also to create greater predictability within a relationship. One thing that some couples are turning to to try to create such greater relationship predictability are “love contracts.”

A love contract is an agreement that contains lifestyle clauses that a couple agrees to follow in connection to their relationship. Such lifestyle clauses could regard all sorts of different things, from social media use to spending time together.

Some couples include love contracts within prenuptial agreements or other relationship agreements. Love contracts appear to be rising in popularity these days.

What might draw a couple to think about having a love contract? Perhaps they desire to set out clear expectations regarding their relationship to try to prevent unpleasant surprises. Some argue that love contracts can be very useful when it comes to goal-setting in a relationship.

An important thing to note about love contracts is that they often are deemed legally unenforceable.

Some argue that including love contracts in a prenuptial agreement could create problems, such as causing an agreement to become bogged down with terms or potentially endangering the enforceability of the entire agreement.

What do you think of love contracts? Do you think they can be a helpful tool for couples?

Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. 12000 Huebner Rd #200 San Antonio, TX 78230 Telephone: (210) 349-9933 Fax: (210) 349-9988
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