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How a prenup can help you even during a marriage

If you are on the eve of a wedding, we all know there are dozens of things that need to be addressed. Are all the invitations sent out? Is the table seating safe and appropriate? Do we have a set list for the DJ? What about flowers? The photographer? Limos? The list goes on. The last thing any couple would want to think about at this time is the possibility of a divorce. But thinking about the future is important, and none of us know what the future holds.

It is important to recognize prenuptial agreements, also called prenups, do not always have to address things that happen in a divorce, though they often do. One of the most important reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement, is that it allows you and your future spouse to have a complete understanding of each other's assets and debts. Having such financial transparency is a good first step for any relationship. Prenups can also be used to include how finances are determined during the course of a marriage. This may include who is in charge of the finances for the family, as well as how much money from each spouse's earnings will be sent to savings accounts, checking accounts, retirement funds or investments and even what money will be allocated for upgrades to the home or how expendable income will be spent.

Prenuptial agreements can also be important in determining how assets from before the marriage are allocated, such as how inheritance is allocated to children from before the marriage. They can also be used to help determine property division, including the division of assets in the event of not only a divorce, but the death of one spouse. Understanding the value of a prenup could help make what could be an uncomfortable discussion easier to bring to the table.

Creating a prenup does not need to be complicated or difficult, but there are somethings that need to be taken under consideration. There are many laws that vary by state, that may not be included in prenuptial agreements. Including any of these items could mean that not only are the items not valid, but it could invalidate the entire document. With this in mind, it might be in your best interests to speak with a law firm familiar with family law to help you craft your prenup. It could make a big difference.

Source: Brides, "Prenups, Postnups, and Everything In Between," Jaimie Mackey, May 24, 2017

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James H. Snyder Attorney at Law
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