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Using a prenuptial agreement to assign debt after divorce

Dividing marital assets in a divorce can be a complex and emotional task. Dividing assets can be even more difficult when there are debts. Unfortunately before a court will finalize a divorce couples must address these issues. While many factors effect property division, the most important involve state laws. Massachusetts, for example, is an equitable distribution state. Another factor affecting property division is the presence of a prenuptial agreement.

While "equitable" distribution may sound like "equal" distribution, this is not the case. Unlike community property states, where property is split down the middle, Massachusetts divides property according to what is most fair to the parties. This can be particularly beneficial to some spouses in divorce cases where one party has incurred a lot of debt. Some readers may not know, but debts, like assets, are divided when a couple chooses to file for divorce.

In addition to state distribution laws, another factor that can affect property division during a divorce proceeding is a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is also one of the best ways for individuals to protect themselves against the debts incurred by another party. To ensure that a prenuptial agreement will hold up in a divorce proceeding, however, it is important that the couple has the agreement drafted by an experienced family law attorney.

Ensuring the fair division of assets and protecting the financial interests of their clients, is one of the most important duties of a family law attorney. Divorce can be expensive, but no more expensive than poorly negotiated property agreement. That is one of the reasons it is so vital for couples to enlist the aid of counsel when negotiating a divorce. In addition to understanding the law, it is important to understand the consequences of your decisions.

Source: Huffington Post, "Prenups: Not Just For The Wealthy," Jason Marks, April 25, 2013

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