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How a prenuptial agreement can help during or after a marriage

Despite temptations to dismiss or not discuss a prenuptial agreement while on the verge of marriage, the benefits can be real and tangible. Contrary to what many believe, there are terms that can be included in a prenuptial or even postnuptial agreement that can be applied to the marriage itself, without any mention of a divorce.

For example, a couple may wish to decide how to share property obtained during the course of the marriage. It may also be used to determine who does the family's finances and how financial decisions are determined, such as spending habits, bank accounts and investments. It may also be used to help determine how property and assets are allocated in the event of one spouse's death.

There are certain criteria that must be met when it comes to forming a prenuptial agreement. It is very important to adhere to these, as invalid elements of a prenuptial agreement could invalidate the entire document.

It may be wise to first create a prenuptial agreement draft. In the interest of fairness, it is also advised that each spouse have the document reviewed by their own attorney. This will make certain that all aspects of the prenuptial agreement are valid in a court of law, and that the wishes of each spouse are properly stated and not influenced by the other spouse. If the courts believe that the wishes of each spouse are not properly met and that one spouse influenced or coerced the other spouse into creating an unfavorable "prenup," the agreement may be voided.

Source: findlaw.com, "Can Prenuptial Agreements Help You?", Dec. 6, 2016

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