Brazoria County readers may know that it is estimated approximately 40 percent of marriages in the U.S. end up in divorce. While marriage can be a time for happiness and celebration, for many people it does not last. Divorce, whether in Texas or elsewhere, can be stressful and difficult for all parties and their families and can quickly become complicated when considering all of the elements involved. Children, housing, money and other property are often the focal points of a contentious divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract created before marriage that details what will happen in the event that a marriage ends in divorce or even death. Some provisions outlined in these agreements can include spousal support, division of property, guardianship and terms for forfeiture of assets in the event of adultery. Considering a prenuptial agreement can help parties discuss the eventualities of a divorce and settle many of these issues prior to the marriage. If a divorce occurs, there should be few surprises in the settlement between the parties.

Prenuptial agreements have become part of a growing trend within the United States and are used in Brazoria County and throughout Texas. Divorce lawyers have indicated an increase in their use nationally over the past five years. While these contracts may not be suitable for everyone, they often make sense for those entering a marriage with substantial assets before marriage. Also, someone with children already may find that a prenuptial agreement reduces stress over finances between the new stepparent and the children.

Considering a prenuptial agreement may be a wise decision. It can provide a firm foundation for the coming marriage and help define the expectations of each party. In doing so, each party can agree to preserve certain assets in the event the union does not last forever.

Source: KPRC, “Should you get a prenup?” Ed Greenberger, Feb. 8, 2012