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Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

By: Cindy Diggs

Everyone has heard of marital property agreements, or prenuptial agreements.  But how do you know if you need one?

Prenuptial agreements are not always necessary.  In situations where there is little property, such as a typical first marriage, there is no need for an agreement about non-existent assets.

There are at least three situations that may call for a prenuptial agreement:  First, where one or both of the parties is wealthy; second, if one or both spouses expect a substantial windfall in the future, such as an inheritance; third, where the parties have children from prior relationships, and want to preserve certain property for them.

How you structure such agreements, though, is important and should be entrusted to a family or estate lawyer, not a form from the internet. Using forms without legal advice can lead to unwanted and unexpected results.  If you have money and property, a good attorney is worth the investment.

With or without a prenuptial agreement, marriage is partly an economic arrangement.  It is not unromantic to talk about money and property before marriage.  In fact, it is a good idea and may prevent discord down the road.
Cindy Diggs, Board Certified in Family Law and Civil Trial Law. Holmes, Diggs & Sadler 5300 Memorial Drive, Suite 900, Houston, Texas 77007, 713.802.1777. www.holmesdiggs.com

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