I have a question for you.
What do you think of when I say Prenup or Postnup?
If the first thing that came to your mind was ‘an anti-trust document’ or a ‘planning for divorce document’. Then about four years ago I would have agreed with you, that was until I started working with individuals that were actually going through the divorce process; they were in the thick of it. What I typically found was, that had a prenup or postnup been in place couples could have saved themselves a lot of stress and a lot of heartache, and a lot of money when they actually started to go through that process. Now, nobody plans to get married to plan for a divorce, I mean if you’re going to do that then why get married in the first place, so instead of thinking of a prenup or a postnup as an ‘anti-trust document’ or a ‘planning for divorce document’ I would encourage you to think of it more as insurance policy the same way we take out a disability policy or a long term care policy or a term life insurance policy. We all know at some point we are probably going to die, not probably we will, but we take out term policies with the expectation that we might die in the next 20 years, but we hope we don’t! The same goes into place with the prenup or a postnup, we don’t plan to get a divorce we don’t not trust our spouse but in the event that divorce were to happen that document can clearly outline, when you’re happy with each other, what your wishes are so the fighting is minimized.
Where I see these documents really being important, the couples that really may want to consider them is if you’re married a little bit later in life and maybe you have a significant amount of assets that you’ve accumulated or you’re younger and you’ve already received it nice size inheritance or maybe you’re going into a second or third marriage and you have assets from previous marriages that you want to protect.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t go into a marriage and live by the “two become one” mentality and commingle finances. This helps to protect and make very clear, for both of you, in the event of a divorce this is how we want things to happen, and you agree to those things when you love each other and not when you’re trying to rip each other apart.
I have seen situations where those documents were in place, and they went South and the reason for that was because parties may not have been fully informed or truly understood what they were signing. If you’re considering these documents make sure that you sit down with a family law attorney, BOTH SPOUSES sit down with the attorney, clearly read through, and make sure you understand every facet of what you’re agreeing to because if you change your mind later on down the road it may be too late. Really consider it!
I’m not saying everybody needs to run out and get a prenup or a postnup, but I want you to start changing how you frame those terms. Stop framing them as an anti-trust document, stop framing them as documents only for the wealthy. In the state of Texas if you have separate property, and that’s things that you brought into the marriage or an inheritance, it is not 100% protected from a divorce. If you have an asset that has income generating from then there is a portion of that inheritance that could be then viewed as Community Property and up for division. You want to make sure you understand if you’re bringing assets into a marriage or you want to be very clear in how property division happens in the event of a divorce, consider these documents, talk with a family law attorney to make sure you understand the pros and cons and why do it and why not to do it. That’s all I wanted to talk to you about today. I know it is not the most fun topic, but it is an important topic that affects a lot of people and I’ve seen the ugly side and the expensive side of not having some of those agreements in place. Y’all have a good afternoon enjoy this beautiful weather! It’s a little cooler here in Houston and I’m wanting to work outside today. 😊