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Shorn of Drama, Prenups Simply a Potentially Effective Legal Tool

The collective reaction is likely to be more than tepid if the subject of prenuptial agreements is brought up at any gathering where a number of adults are present.

Prenups elicit reactions across a wide spectrum of views and emotions. Some people consider them dispassionately and see potentially strong value in them, whereas many others tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to them, viewing them as being sterile and unromantic. To some people, the very idea is anathema.

We have discussed prenuptial agreements -- sometimes termed premarital agreements or contracts -- in a few of our prior blog posts, where it can clearly be seen from a perusal of the subject matter that a prenup is simply a legal tool that can -- or might not be -- effectively used by a couple.

In other words, it is fact-specific and depends on the circumstances. There is a reason why couples marrying for a second or subsequent time -- as well as older couples generally and couples with a substantial amount of debts and/or assets -- take the time to carefully discuss and execute prenuptial agreements at a rate much higher than that for younger couples, first-time newlyweds and spouses with few assets.

It's all in the details. Do you own real estate? Are you a business owner? Is your salary comparatively high? Do you have substantial assets that accrued prior to the marriage or wedding that is contemplated? Do you have children from a previous marriage that you want to provide for? Do you have substantial retirement benefits? Stock options?

If you find yourself thinking about a premarital agreement and wondering whether it might make sense for you and your partner, contact a family law attorney who routinely counsels couples on prenups and has long experience drafting them.

Related Resource: Times Herald-Record, "Your Finances: There are several advantages to a prenup" Aug. 7, 2011

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