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Consider a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle

When a Gulfport couple decides to marry, they may simply be on cloud nine, or at least consumed with the practicalities of planning a wedding. However, they should also consider the practicalities of life after the wedding ceremony. For some couples, this means drafting a prenuptial agreement (a prenup).

A prenup can cover many financial issues should the couple later divorce. In fact, entering into a prenup is becoming more common these days. According to a 2013 survey of attorneys, 63 percent reported a rise in the number of clients coming to their office in order to create a prenup. Moreover, talking finances with your partner prior to marriage sets the groundwork for good communication on this potentially touchy subject later on.

There are some situations in which having a prenup in place can be especially prudent. One is if one spouse owns a business. It is important to address what will happen to the business should the marriage not last. A person may not want his or her ex to be awarded a share of the business, which is often a person's largest asset.

Another reason to create a prenup is if it is a spouse's second marriage and that spouse has children from a previous relationship. A prenup can contain provisions that ensure that these children receive the type of inheritance their parent wants them to have. If not, the children could be accidentally disinherited.

A prenup can also be beneficial if one spouse plans to leave his or her job in order to stay at home and care for the family. If the couple later divorces, it could take time for the spouse who left the workforce to re-enter it. A prenup can provide that spouse with the financial support he or she needs.

Also, sometimes a spouse expects to receive a substantial inheritance. Although in many states an inheritance is considered to be separate property, if the inheritance funds get mixed up with marital funds, the other spouse could argue in the event of a divorce that a portion of the inheritance is rightfully theirs.

In the end, there are many good reasons to create a prenup. However, before taking this step it is important for each party to seek the advice of their own separate counsel, who can explain the legal implications of a prenup, and represent their client's interests.

Source: CheatSheet, "Marriage: 5 Signs You Need a Prenuptial Agreement," Megan Elliott, March 28, 2016

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