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Consider a prenup as the "will" of family law

Ask anyone you know who has been through a divorce and you will no doubt get agreement from all that a divorce can be a very complex and emotionally draining experience. It can also be very financially challenging with one or both spouses losing some financial stability or assets. Dividing marital property is rarely easy but can be made simpler if a prenuptial agreement is in place.

Many people do not like to think about prenups because of a fear that it can increase the likelihood of an ultimate divorce. However, a recent article offers a new way to think about such a plan. Just as a will protects assets from government distribution and control after a death, a prenuptial agreement protects state laws from dictating division of property, business assets, bank accounts, retirement accounts and other assets obtain during the marriage or even before it.

One of the most advantageous reasons to get a prenuptial agreement is to protect business assets for one or both spouses. A marriage, in the eyes of the law, really is just another business agreement and the more up-front work people do from the beginning, the more they can prevent unnecessary hardship or asset loss if a divorce should eventually take place.

If you are interested in a prenuptial agreement, it is best for each party to have his and her own legal counsel and to ensure it is properly drawn up and signed. Ensuring that all such documents represent fair distribution will also help. Talking to a family law attorney can give you some good guidelines on how a prenuptial agreement may help you and how to create one.

Source: Forbes, “Skitting about a prenup? Like it or not, you already have one,” Jeff Landers, July 17, 2013

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