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Divorce: marriage may be romantic, but prenups are practical

7833693_S.jpgWhile "love" is one of the first words a person in Springfield associates with the word "marriage," in fact there are many practical aspects of marriage that should not get lost in the haze of romance. Therefore, some couples find that it can help to have a prenuptial agreement (prenup) in place.

There are a number of good reasons to create a prenup. If it is a person's second marriage, and that person has children from a prior marriage, a prenup can ensure those children are not disinherited. In addition, if a person has a business, a prenup can list that business as separate property, so that it will not be subject to property division. Also, if a person enters the marriage with a great deal of debt, a prenup can ensure that the other spouse does not incur that debt. If one spouse leaves the workforce while married to take care of the home, a prenup can ensure that, in the event of a divorce, that spouse receives an appropriate amount of compensation for giving up what may have been a lucrative career. Prenups can also address property division and spousal support.

However, there are a few negative aspects to creating a prenup. For example, if one spouse contributes to the success of the other spouse's business during the course of their marriage, that spouse may not be awarded a share of that increase in value if the prenup says so. In addition, prior to marriage, a person's head may be in the clouds due to the romance, so they may agree to things that are actually not in their best interests, such as relinquishing their inheritance rights, or they may not realize how certain agreements that at the time seem minor can be significant in the event of a divorce.

Because of this, if a couple is considering a prenup, it can help for each party to discuss the matter with their own attorneys. An attorney can provide guidance about what to include in a prenup and what not to include. In addition, an attorney can ensure that their client is not giving up any major rights, and that the prenup is fair. Marriage may be a matter of the heart, but when it comes to prenups it is important to keep your head on your shoulders and think practically.

Source: FindLaw, "Pros and Cons: Premarital Agreements ("Prenuptials")," accessed April 4, 2017

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