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There are many advantages of preparing a prenuptial agreement

Now that Valentine's Day is over, many newly engaged couples will be flocking to stores to set up their wedding registries. Planning for a wedding can become overwhelming and many couples don't think about creating a prenuptial agreement despite almost half of marriages ending in divorce.

Divorce can be very complicated, especially when property and money need to be divided. Prenuptial agreements can help alleviate the stress of fighting over who gets what when a marriage ends.

Couples considering a prenup are not alone. Prenuptial agreements have been growing in popularity. A recent survey found that three-quarters of divorce lawyers in the U.S. have seen an increase in prenups within the last five years.

So what exactly is a prenup? A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that is created before marriage. Prenups can include provisions in the event of a spouse's death or divorce. Provisions in prenups can include property division, spousal support, guardianship and terms for asset forfeiture in the case of adultery.

While prenuptial agreements are not for everyone, there are many benefits of preparing one. Couples who have a lot of assets or property are wise to draft a prenup. Individuals who have children from a previous relationship can also benefit from a prenup, even if their children are adults. A prenup can help ease any tension there may be between a new spouse and children in the event of divorce.

Many couples think they will be protected if they ever get divorce. However, state laws on divorce and how property and assets are divided can be difficult to fully understand. There are many advantages of preparing a prenuptial agreement and it is wise to consult a divorce lawyer. Lawyers will examine all of your options and can help you make decisions regarding property division, spousal or child support, paying bills and beneficiary designations.

Source: KSAT, "Is a prenuptial agreement right for you?" Feb. 8. 2012

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