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Using a prenuptial agreement to strengthen your marriage

You already said yes to the engagement, picked your wedding party and sent out the invitations. Other than a few last-minute details, there is not much left to do before the wedding, right? If you are like other couples in Texas, you probably overlooked a fairly important topic -- the prenuptial agreement. 

Prenups may not seem like the most romantic thing in the world, but they can provide a number of legal and emotional benefits. If like many other people you still believe that prenups are un-romantic documents reserved for the super wealthy, you will probably be surprised to learn about how they can help virtually everyone. 

Strengthen your bond with a prenup 

Money and communication issues occupy two of the top three most commonly cited reasons for divorce. For all the planning that you put into your special day, you may not be as focused on what comes after. Do you know your soon-to-be spouse's income? The value of his or her assets? How much debt he or she is bringing into the marriage? 

These are not things you want to find out only after you say "I do." When you craft a prenuptial agreement, you have to be open and honest with your partner, which means laying it all out on the table. Not only will you get a sense of each other's financial well-being, but you will also lay the groundwork for better communication throughout your marriage. 

What's mine is yours -- except for debt 

Debt often seems like an inescapable aspect of life. However, this does not mean that you have to take on the financial burden of the debt your spouse accumulated before you were married. You can use a prenup to protect yourself from inadvertently taking on the financial responsibility of that debt, which can follow you even if you divorce. 

You can also make sure that your personal property stays yours. Even if you own something before getting married, how you use or treat an asset can actually cause it to shift to marital property, so clearly outlining whose property is whose is a good idea. 

Prenups are not indicators of divorce 

If your fiancé asked you to consider a prenup you may feel worried that they lack confidence in your future marriage. The reality is that couples can and do get divorced, even ones who start out very happy together. A prenup not only gives you the ability to start your marriage on a stronger foot, it also lays down important protections should things not go as planned. 

Texas family law can be complicated, though, so drafting an enforceable prenuptial agreement is not always straightforward. Many couples choose to work with an experienced attorney who can make sure that both parties understand everything before signing.

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