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Prenuptial agreements can be helpful, but hard to break

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Prenuptial agreements have become more and more popular over the years, and it is not hard to see why. The divorce rate continues to hover around 50 percent, so anyone getting married in America these days has to know that almost half of marriages end in divorce. And anyone who is currently going through a divorce, or has previously, probably knows that there are many complicated issues that must be settled. That is where prenuptial agreements come in. The agreements, drawn up and signed prior to the marriage can make things much easier in the event that the marriage does end in divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can be particularly helpful in determining property division. Assets owned by the separate parties prior to the marriage are usually designated to stay with the party who owns them. The parties are even free to discuss and agree to an appropriate divorce settlement in terms of property obtained during the marriage.

However, people should know that prenuptial agreements are very hard to break. A prenuptial agreement is a contract, so there is a higher threshold to cross in order to invalidate the document. But there are ways to break a prenuptial agreement.

For instance, someone may be able to show that the other party was not completely honest about their assets at the time of the agreement. In addition, someone may be able to prove that they were coerced into signing a prenuptial agreement. Someone may also be able to demonstrate that the agreement has unenforceable aspects in it.

Maryland readers have to determine whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for them. But one thing is clear, prenuptial agreements can be extremely detailed and helpful, but they can also be extremely hard to break.

Source: Reuters, "Breaking up is hard to do, breaking prenup is harder," Geoff Williams, Oct. 5, 2012

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