Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
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Is a Prenup the Right Decision for You?

In past eras the prenuptial agreement was associated with the wealthy but aging captain of industry who marries his secretary. But these days the prenuptial agreement (or prenup) can serve a broad range of needs for just about any couple. In two income families this can keep the marital arrangement on the straight and narrow. Perhaps there is a large inheritance or assets that the family wants to keep with the inheritor. Here in San Antonio there may need to be specific arrangements for a member of the military in regards to future obligations, although a prenup cannot determine child support.

Whatever the reason, there are several things to consider for the contract to be legal and binding in a court of law under the requirements outlined in Chapter 4 of the Texas Family Code, which is also referred to as the "Premarital and Marital Property Agreements." While an attorney can help with the legal ins and outs of putting the legal document together, the couple should do their homework ahead of time. Keep in mind that each agreement can be as individual as the couple who creates it.

Jointly agree to do a prenup.

It may be an awkward subject to broach, but both parties must enter this agreement by their own free will. Talk it out and cover all the reasons why you want to structure your marriage in such a way.

Put together a full and accurate tally of all major assets.

Perhaps you'd like to hold onto your condo in an up-and-coming neighborhood -- it would make a good rental property even it's too small to start a family in. List retirement plans, life insurance policies, stuff in safety deposit boxes, stocks, cars or anything else of a certain monetary value.

List debt.

One of you may have a large amount of student loans and wants to pay those off on their own. Perhaps he is carrying a large credit card debt that he's paying off every month. Unless there is an arrangement, those debts become your debts once you are married.

Keep finances separate before the wedding.

Any money that goes into a joint bank account immediately becomes joint property. Same with anything bought and shared.

Find good legal representation.

The couple should each have an attorney. Get recommendations from friends and family, and first reach out via phone to see if they are what you are looking for. Are they organized? Do they know exactly what you want? Will they represent you well?

If you or perhaps your child is getting married and considering a prenup, an attorney can help get affairs in order to everyone's satisfaction. The bottom line is to treat each side fairly and respectfully. A prenup shouldn't be about one side exercising a great amount of power over the other, or lying about assets or finances. If this is the case, perhaps it's best to walk away from this marriage before it begins.

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Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
310 South St. Mary's Street
Suite 2500
San Antonio, TX 78205

Phone: 210-272-7034
Fax: 210-308-5669
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