People intending to marry use premarital agreements for several reasons, some of which may be interrelated.
Premarital agreements help the parties clarify their expectations and rights about the future. A premarital agreement may prevent uncertainties and fears about how a divorce will affect the parties if the marriage fails.
Approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce. It is not uncommon to find two people who are in their 40s, 50s or 60s who want to be married.
Many of these couples have been divorced before or have children from prior marriages; yet, these couple want to provide a degree of certainty regarding their financial future together, protect their estates from each other's children, and to lay out a financial road map for their future. Also, business owners who have significant real property, income property, boats, yachts, airplanes, or who own sole proprietorships, partnerships, small businesses, or corporations, or professional associations frequently wish to enter into a premarital agreement that provides not only for the operation and management, but also provides certainty upon their death or divorce.
Another growing trend in entering into premarital agreements is when two young professional people decide to get married. These are usually very accomplished people who wish to maintain their professional identity and separate professional practices; however, they also want to share life together and, in order to accomplish this, they enter into premarital agreements.
Many people have acquired substantial savings, 401k plans, 403b plans, defined retirement plans, profit sharing plans, employee stock ownership plans, or other employee benefits that they wish to keep separate from each other. Additionally, people who have inherited property or received gifts, or who expect to inherit property or gifts, frequently wish to make provisions in a premarital agreement to protect their inheritance and gifts.
John K. Grubb practices family law in Houston. He has a BBA, MBA, and a JD Degree. John K. Grubb focuses a significant part of his family law practice on helping couples create premarital and prenuptial agreements in Texas.