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Reasons to have a prenup agreement

Many Dallas-area couples consult with a wedding planner soon after becoming engaged. It may be just as important for those couples to talk to an attorney. In the glow of upcoming nuptials, it can be difficult for a couple to imagine unhappier times, but with a continued high divorce rate, happily is not always ever after. That's why it's important to protect oneself with a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement may be thought of as divorce insurance. By agreeing ahead of time how marital property will be split in divorce proceedings, a couple can save significant legal expenses later. Prenuptial agreements are particularly important if one is getting married later in life after having accumulated substantial assets. An up-front agreement regarding asset division should be a consideration for anyone bringing a nest egg in excess of $100,000, a house or a treasured family heirloom into the marriage.

When establishing a prenuptial agreement, it is important that each of the parties have separate legal counsel to protect their individual interests. Discussions about the prenup should start early on in the engagement and not saved until days or weeks before the wedding. In drafting the agreement, consideration should be given to the parties' respective earning potentials. An agreement also may include estate planning provisions to address what each spouse would be entitled to upon the other's death.

A couple entering into a prenuptial agreement should think about where they plan to live after marriage. If the couple signs the agreement in one state but is divorced in another, differences in the states' laws may come into play with respect to how the agreement is interpreted and enforced. An experienced family law attorney can help draft an agreement that takes such differences into account.

Source: Fox Business, "Why You Should Consider a Prenup," Andrea Murad, Feb. 4, 2013

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