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Prenuptual agreements are an essential part of planning a wedding

When a man told his friend, who is an attorney, that he was getting married, the friend advised that a prenuptial agreement could make things much easier for him. It is a contract between the people getting married and sets out the terms of a divorce, should one occur. The couple both agreed that they weren't worried about divorce, they were in love and didn't understand that planning ahead for a divorce can ease the anger and heartache should a divorce happen.

A prenuptial agreement can give so much clarity to your property division discussion, and while it may seem that young lovers are the best candidates, the customer most attorney see for a prenup are older and may have been through a divorce already. The reasons for a prenuptial agreement aren't romantic. One of the couple may have a lot of wealth that comes to the table in a marriage while the other doesn't. Many famous actors have prenups.

One of the couples said that while the man in the marriage didn't have much debt at all, the woman involved had over $100,000 in student debt. They didn't even consider a prenuptial agreement, saying that they couldn't imagine getting divorced. In a prenuptial agreement, the people involved decide who gets what property in case the marriage ends. It can set up alimony or maintenance payments and can set limits of these payments. These agreements can also take care of kids from a previous marriage in case of the death of that parent.

Wills can be helpful, but a will backed up with a prenup is even better because the spouse who is left behind goes into settlement with his or her eyes wide open. They are aware of the agreement and must honor it. While prenups are great, they can be challenged in court, so it is important to contact a skilled attorney who can assist you competently.

If you think you need a prenuptial agreement, you may need to speak with an attorney who is experienced in this area.

Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch, "Plan your divorce before your wedding day" Jim Gallagher, Feb. 23, 2014

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