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Making sure a prenuptial agreement is properly drafted

For many couples in Massachusetts, having a prenuptial agreement makes sense. It is clear that the rate of divorce in the nation is high and has been increasing. Drafting this instrument helps a couple through the divorce process, a process which has become more and more common.

The notion that prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous has been exposed as a misconception, but it is true that prenuptial agreements are not for everyone. While they protect the wealthier party from losing large amounts of property and assets, prenuptial agreements could prove unnecessary or even counterproductive, especially if they are not drafted properly.

One crucial component that should be included in a prenuptial agreement is the issue of spousal support. This is especially true if one spouse is wealthy, a stay at home parent or has or is expecting a significant inheritance.

However, if the couple is new and has very little assets, a prenuptial agreement might not be absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, it has become more common for partners to draft these documents as safeguards. When properly drafted, the agreement could make the divorce process easier and allow both parties to leave the marriage with the property that they brought into the marriage.

The most important thing to do before signing a prenuptial agreement is to make sure that it is drafted clearly enough so that both parties understand it. Not only is this necessary to ensure that the agreement will be enforceable in the even of a divorce, clarity also greatly reduces the chances of a conflict over interpreting the prenuptial agreement.

A properly drafted prenuptial agreement can help sort out finances, marital assets and spousal support. It also aids with property division and could reduce potential issues or arguments between the divorcing spouses. Those who are either seeking to draft a prenuptial agreement or are planning to sign one should consider getting legal advice about the process from an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Huffington Post, "Unpacking prenuptial agreements," Caroline Choi, Jan. 31, 2014

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