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Family law: the benefits of a prenuptial agreement

When people in Massachusetts become engaged, they are likely begin a whirlwind of decision making. For most, this means setting a date for the wedding, creating a list of people to invite and picking a dress, among many others. The last thing on many people's minds is family law. However, many professionals urge couples to also consider their financial situations and the important roles prenuptial agreements can have in relationships.

Some argue that issues surrounding finances are one of the main causes of divorce. By sitting down together before weddings and having frank discussions about debts and assets, for example, couples can go into marriages with full understandings of each others' financial situations, circumventing the possibility that one person will be surprised in the future. The compromise and negotiation needed to create a prenuptial agreement can often set the tone for how conflict will be handled during a marriage.

Additionally, having a prenup allows each person to fully understand the financial implications of a divorce. A business owner can protect his or her interest in a business. As part of the agreement, the couple may decide how property will be divided and whether alimony will be paid. In the event of a divorce, having such an agreement in place could significantly help ease the process as many of the financial decisions have been made.

Many states, including Massachusetts, dictate matters of family law, including the division of assets in the event of a divorce. However, a prenuptial agreement ultimately supersedes those laws if properly created. An experienced attorney can help a person who is contemplating marriage create an agreement that will protect his or her best interests.

Source: Time, "3 Good Reasons to Stop Stalling and Get a Prenup", Tracy Craig, Feb. 11, 2016

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