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Why do spouses sign prenuptial agreements?

From a nuts and bolts perspective, a prenuptial agreement makes a lot of sense. From the traditional view of love and marriage -- that implies your marriage partner is "until death do us part" -- these agreements go against religious concept of "holy matrimony."

To be sure, prenuptial agreements are a hot-button issue, but just about every single family law attorney -- even those who have litigated countless contentious divorce proceedings -- know that no divorcing spouses ever entered marriage thinking that their union would be temporary. Furthermore, considering how many marriages end up in divorce, a prenuptial agreement that makes divorce exponentially faster, easier and cheaper on everyone involved is an excellent idea.

Reasons for creating a prenuptial agreement

You might be on the fence about whether you want to create a prenup before you get married, so let's look at some the most common reasons why people sign such a document:

-- To codify and agree to the responsibilities of the spouses within the marriage.

-- To keep the property of a separate business removed from the marital estate.

-- To identify one's retirement benefits as separate and individual property.

-- To establish income and deductions related to tax returns.

-- To manage household expenses and bills.

-- To manage a joint bank account if any exist.

-- To organize how investments will be made into the shared residence or shared business.

-- To make arrangements about the use of credit cards and the paying off of debt.

-- To codify arrangements pertaining to the education and payment of the education for one or the other spouse.

-- To create a plan for settling potential areas of disagreement during marriage through arbitration or mediation.

Conclusion

Marriage is about love -- and, indeed, it should be -- but it's also a business and legal arrangement. Therefore, it's one area of life where the divide between business and your personal life can get blurred. A prenuptial agreement helps things stay clean and clear so that -- in the event of a divorce later on down the line -- the prenuptial agreement will help the spouses go their separate ways in the most civil way possible.

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Austin, TX 78759

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