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b2ap3_thumbnail_dallas-prenup-postnup-attorney.jpgBusinesses frequently take many years to become successful. During those years, the business owner spends countless hours of difficult personal labor ensuring the business has what it needs to succeed. He or she usually spends significant amounts of personal money to help the business grow. Yet when a business owner gets divorced in Texas, he or she risks losing everything in the marital asset division. Not only is this discouraging and demoralizing, it can cause an older business owner to risk retirement prospects by derailing their financial future. Thankfully, this outcome is not inevitable. With the help of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you can protect your business ownership against an unexpected Texas divorce

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Protect My Texas Business? 

Prenuptial agreements exist specifically to detail the treatment of property in a divorce when spouses are clear-minded and willing to protect their interests and even their spouse’s interests. Although prenuptial agreements may not seem romantic, the period before the marriage begins is when each spouse has the opportunity to delineate what he or she wishes to remain personal property in the event of divorce.

Would My Business Be Considered Community Property? 

Although your ownership in the business before your marriage would remain your personal property, any business growth or earnings are marital property after the marriage has begun unless otherwise specified in a prenup. Anything that is not protected by a prenup or postnup must be divided equally in a divorce. It can be very difficult to determine how much of a business’s value was one spouse’s personal property before a marriage, especially if that spouse did not document a business valuation just before the marriage began. 

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Dallas prenup lawyerA prenuptial agreement is an excellent way for soon-to-be newlyweds to reach an agreement about how their assets would be divided in the event that the couple does not stay married forever. They can be, however, drastically unfair to one spouse. Consider the classic situation where a prenuptial agreement is used—when there is significant income or net-worth disparity between the spouses-to-be. Often, the party with fewer assets agrees in the prenuptial agreement to leave the marriage with nothing during a divorce. Often, there is a level of coercion involved in that sort of agreement. In such a situation, the disadvantaged party may be able to ask the court to set aside the prenuptial agreement. 

If you are going through a divorce and fear that an unfair prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will leave you in a terrible position, you should talk to an experienced divorce attorney. There are circumstances where a court will not enforce a prenuptial agreement, but you may need the knowledge of a skilled attorney to achieve this. 

Under What Circumstances Might Texas Courts Void a Prenuptial Agreement? 

Texas courts do not want to enforce a prenuptial agreement—or any contract, really—that is unconscionable or that was entered into under duress. The court might void a prenuptial agreement if it sees proof of: 

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Marriage is tough, as the person you fell in love with is not going to be that same person ten or even five years into your marriage. For instance, everything that you and your soon-to-be spouse agree on now may be your exact points of contention once you live together for the first time, buy a house together, or have your first child together. Because of this, it is important to address possible issues prior to marriage via a prenuptial agreement. When a couple drafts a prenuptial agreement, each party can reasonably know what to expect from the other in regards to particular issues. This type of foresight allows couples to more easily navigate the basic and not so basic issues of marriage.

At the Law Office of Stephen Clark, our family law attorneys believe that a strong prenuptial agreement can really save a marriage. More than that, though, we believe that thorough premarital planning can save a marriage. If you and your soon-to-be-spouse want your marriage to last a lifetime, consider talking with a marriage counselor prior to tying the knot. Then, consult with our Dallas law firm to create a strong premarital contract.

How Can Premarital Planning Save Your Marriage?

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Though signing a prenuptial agreement is almost always a good idea, our Dallas family law attorneysat the Clark Law Group are routinely faced with clients who are hesitant to sign one. We get it: prenuptial agreements come with the presumption that one day the marriage might end. Spouses do not want to enter a marriage with that thought hanging over their heads, so instead of dealing with the potential discomfort of discussing the terms of a possible divorce, they hope for the best. If the best does not happen, they are stuck dealing with the same problems that all non-prenuptial-signing couples deal with during a divorce: money battles, fights over assets, and general chaos.

Three Reasons to Sign a Prenup Before Tying the Knot

In order to fully appreciate the benefits of a Texas prenuptial agreement, it is important to view it not as a tool for divorce, but rather, as an instrument for a happy marriage. Couples who have signed a prenup cite the top three benefits of doing so being:

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More couples these days choose to draft and sign a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot. This is not because they expect to get a divorce, but simply because they understand that a prenup is a great tool for setting out their expectations for the union and, hopefully, for mitigating future issues. However, a prenuptial agreement does not do any good if it is not legally binding. At the Dallas Clark Law Group our prenuptial agreement attorneys advise couples on how to create legally sound prenuptial agreement. If you and your future spouse are interested in creating a premarital contract, reach out to our legal team for guidance on creating a prenup that suits each of your needs.

Four Essential Elements of a Prenuptial Agreement

While every couple is going to have different ideas about what their prenup should involve, the strongest premarital contracts include the following four elements:

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