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How a prenuptial agreement can prove to be beneficial

Once a couple decides to tie the knot, there are a multitude of decisions that have to be made, including the venue, the band, the cake and even the place settings. Of course not all decisions will necessarily relate to the actual ceremony, as the soon-to-be married couple will also have to decide where they want to live, whether they want to keep their finances separate and, of course, whether they want to execute a prenuptial agreement.

The simple truth is that the idea of executing a prenuptial agreement doesn't even enter the equation for many engaged couples. The primary reason for this is that planning for the potential breakdown of a marriage isn't exactly a romantic prospect and that many people view prenuptial agreements as a tacit acknowledgement that divorce is a near certainty.

While this view is perfectly understandable, it is perhaps a bit shortsighted. In reality, a prenuptial agreement can provide a soon-to-be married couple with peace of mind going forward.

For those unfamiliar with a prenuptial agreement, it is essentially a binding contract executed by both parties prior to a marriage that expressly outlines the rights and expectations of each party in the event that their marriage ends in divorce.

One of the primary advantages of a prenuptial agreement is that it enables each spouse to establish firm expectations concerning alimony/spousal maintenance. Whether that means waiving the right to it altogether or establishing a set amount, the prenuptial agreement allows the couple to avoid any potentially bitter legal disputes down the road should the marriage end in divorce.

Another obvious advantage of executing a prenuptial agreement is that it allows couples to keep their debt separate. This is incredibly important when you stop to consider how much debt the average person is carrying and how much they can accumulate in a short amount of time.

Finally, prenuptial agreements also have the indirect effect of facilitating a meaningful dialogue among soon-to-be spouses. By sitting down to decide these important matters, it will force couples to have a frank conversation about finances and their viewpoints on spending/saving. This, in turn, can foster a greater understanding as to where each side is coming from and enable the couple to make the necessary adjustments ahead of time.

Consider contacting an experienced family law attorney to learn more about the many benefits of executing a prenuptial agreement or about the general process of property division.

Source: Saving Advice, "10 reasons to get a prenup," Danielle Warchol, September 6, 2013

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