Prenuptial agreements have something of a bad reputation in some quarters. Many people in Texas look at prenuptial agreements as pessimistic. On the surface, they can seem to fly in the face of traditional notions of lifelong marriage and “until death do we part.” The truth, however, is more complicated. In many ways, prenups are a smart option for protecting both parties going into a marriage.

Prenuptial agreements give future spouses the opportunity to negotiate a breakup while they’re still in love with one another. Instead of wrangling over possessions and finances when things have gone bad in the marriage, prenups allow people to come up with a fair and equitable division of property before a relationship has broken down. It’s much easier to make a plan for the worst when everyone wants the best for each other.

Some people struggle to re-frame prenuptial agreements as a prudent plan for the future. The best way to think about a prenup, perhaps, is as a form of insurance. No one wants to deal with problems like house fires, car accidents or cancer. But most people have homeowners, automobile and medical insurance. Prenuptial agreements provide protection in much the same way.

For couples who are planning to marry, it’s a good idea to schedule a meeting with a financial planner and an experienced family law attorney. It’s not that difficult to obtain a prenuptial agreement that protects everyone and ensures an equitable division of assets should the marriage break down. This is particularly essential when one half of the couple has significantly higher assets and for second marriages where one or both parties have children. Prenups are also a must-have if either party has a family-owned and operated business.