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Prenuptial agreements can decrease fighting over assets

Most couples who are about to marry have trouble seeing any flaws in their relationships. Love and the dream of an ideal future together often keep them from discussing the possibility of separation or divorce. Unfortunately, given the reality that about half of all marriages now fail, avoiding the topic can mean a couple will struggle later with the financial issues that typically arise during divorce. As many Californians are discovering, however, considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement earlier than later merely recognizes that love does not always conquer all.

Prenuptial agreements make more sense in some situations than in others. For example, if one spouse plans to start a business, a prenuptial agreement can help him or her keep the business from becoming community property and thus subject to division. In addition, if a couple plans to buy a house after they marry, specifying how it will be disposed of if the marriage fails can keep it from becoming a contentious issue during divorce.

A prenup can also benefit couples who want to keep their property separate after they marry. The agreement can also help a spouse who wants to leave personal property to children from a previous marriage or if he or she expects to receive a sizable inheritance.

In addition, a prenup may be of particular importance to spouses who have concerns about their partners' ability to manage money or who show problems with debt.

A comprehensive prenuptial agreement can also address many other financial issues that arise at the time of divorce. As many people know, the financial aspects of property division, child support and spousal support often produce pitched battles between parting spouses. By settling what is and is not to be considered community property beforehand can make resolving these other issues a little easier.

Source: NerdWallet.com, "The Prenup: In Case Love Doesn't Conquer All," Steve Branton, Accessed on June 1, 2015

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