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Prenups may be useful in property division settlements

Often, prenuptial agreements are not looked upon favorably. It may seem that a prenuptial agreement is an indication of future divorce or may involve coercion of the less wealthy partner to sign the agreement. However, people's attitudes toward prenuptial agreements are changing. Lately, a prenuptial agreement is routinely recommended to couples before their wedding, because it may protect them from the potential negative consequences of divorce.

Residents in many states, including Missouri, may be aware that a prenuptial agreement is a great way of handling complicated settlements of property division. A prenuptial agreement allows the couple to protect their individual assets and obligations in the event of death or divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can vary, depending on the situation, but they usually cover the value of assets and liabilities of each spouse. In a situation where one spouse is wealthier than the other, a prenuptial agreement may differentiate the assets and will address the claims to the assets that the second spouse has. In the case of debt or bankruptcy, a prenuptial agreement may serve as protection against financial obligations. When it comes to chronic illness of a spouse or dependants, prenuptial agreements may outline the responsibilities of each partner. The agreement may also explain if the spouse will be a co-owner of a business venture in the event of divorce.

When divorce occurs, couples may have to deal with issues concerning separation, child custody and property division. When it comes to property division, prenuptial agreements will discuss details about the properties, assets and obligations of each spouse. Some of those may be inherited properties, future gifts and post-marital property that the couple either brought to the marriage or obtained during the marriage. The properties must be fully disclosed by each partner because any hidden assets may invalidate the agreement.

Source: NJ.com, "Say yes to the dress - and the pre-nup," Claire E. Toth, Sept. 30, 2012

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