Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Why couples who plan to wed should consider a prenuptial agreement

While many people utter the phrases, "for better or for worse" and "until death do us part" in their wedding vows, nearly half of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. Considering these odds, it wise to take steps to establish a prenuptial agreement prior to tying the knot.

A prenuptial agreement can be used to protect the assets and property an individual brings to a marriage. Assets that may be included in a prenup include a home, motor vehicle, personal belongings and property. Additionally, in cases where an individual owns all or part of a business, a prenup can be used to protect and retain business ownership and related assets. The ownership of and responsibility for the repayment of debts can also be addressed in a prenuptial agreement, thereby absolving the other spouse of financial responsibility.

Given the varied and significant protections a prenup affords individuals who plan to marry, all engaged individuals would be wise to take the time to establish one prior to marrying. Unfortunately, some people view prenuptial agreements in a negative light and wrongly believe that having one is a precursor to divorce. Consequently, many people shy away from even exploring how a prenup may benefit both themselves and their fiancé.

While nearly every couple who plans to wed can benefit from the establishment of a prenuptial agreement, it's especially important for coupes where one partner has a considerable amount of wealth or if one or both partners were previously married Additionally, in cases where a couple is older or there are children from a previous relationship or marriage, it's important to explore one's options with regard to protecting assets via a prenuptial agreement.

An attorney who handles family law and divorce matters can assist in drafting a prenuptial agreement and help ensure that a document conforms to applicable state laws.

Source: Forbes, "I Do or Don't At Any Age," Neale Godfrey, Aug. 30, 2015

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