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Prenuptial agreements: The pros and cons

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After a couple of years of dating, you are finally thinking about popping the question. But, before you do, you consider having another conversation. Unfortunately, "Will you sign a prenup?" seems to detract from the romance of, "Will you marry me?" Before you sit down with your intended bride, you should take the time to figure out if a prenuptial agreement is the right move.

A prenuptial agreement is not for everyone, which is why it is important to look closely at your circumstances and weigh the pros and cons of introducing one into your relationship. Read further to find some tips to help you decide if a prenuptial agreement is right for you.

Pros

Prenuptial agreements have many benefits, including protecting each of your respective property as separate. This means that you can protect everything you each owned prior to the marriage. What was hers remains hers and what was yours remains yours.

You can also use the prenuptial agreement to make special arrangements concerning property that you acquire during the marriage. In addition, if the two of you do get divorced, a prenuptial agreement may help to expedite the divorce and simplify the process.

Cons

While a prenuptial agreement can be a great tool to protect both parties in case of divorce, it also has its downsides. For example, the romance of getting married usually does take a hit. Bringing up the subject with your fiancé may not go over very well.

Another downside is that while you may be able to address spousal support in a prenuptial agreement, child support belongs to the authority of a Maryland court. Furthermore, the court, more or less, gets the final say in the matter. For example, if a judge thinks the provisions in the prenuptial agreement are unfair, the court could choose to invalidate the document.

Does your situation require a prenup?

Beyond the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement, you should examine your financial situation. For example, if you own real estate, have more than $50,000 in assets, or have an ownership interest in a business, a prenuptial agreement might be a good decision.

There are several other situations that might influence the drafting a prenuptial agreement. Before you make your decision, sit down with your attorney and talk about your concerns and the benefits of a prenuptial agreement in order to get guidance on the best option for you and your needs.

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