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Pre-marriage debts, assets are worth considering before wedding

When couples in Texas divorce, one of the most contentious issues is often property division. Of a couple's property, often the largest portion is real estate -- namely, the couple's house.

In many cases these days, people enter a marriage with a financial disparity: one person might carry a large amount of debt while the other person might have more tangible assets such as a home. Many couples turn to a prenuptial agreement as a way to keep these assets and debts separate heading into a marriage.

However, in most cases, assets or debts acquired before a marriage remain separate -- so if one person has $10,000 in credit card debt and the other owns a house, those debts and assets are not combined simply because of a marriage.

Of course, a couple can share expenses of a home that one person owns; it just probably wouldn't make sense for the person who owns the home to add his or her spouse to the mortgage or the deed to the property. Of course, a couple can share debts if they wish, but then both people will be on the hook for one person's financial irresponsibility.

Money disputes are at the root of many divorces in Texas and around the nation. While a prenuptial agreement might not be essential for the survival and success of a marriage, couples who come into a marriage on unequal financial footing might at least want to explore the concept in the event that the marriage one day comes to an end.

Source: Fox Business, "Will Prenup Protect Fiancee from My Debt?" Steve Bucci, March 28, 2013

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