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Marital Agreements Would Be Simpler with a Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Thursday, 19 January 2012

blog-logoIt may be a little late to find this out now; but the best way to avoid complications with a marital agreement is to have a pre-nuptial agreement.  Not that “pre-nups” are foolproof, as they are often discredited even after they are signed; but they lay a foundation for what to expect in the event of a divorce.

The average couple may not quibble as much over the division of assets and liabilities, or they may find a way to compromise through mediation.  But a marriage can become more financially complicated if the couple owns a family business or a diverse portfolio of investments.  When this occurs, having a pre-nuptial agreement in place will prevent a lot of the confusion and provide a clear path to resolution.

For couples who are just about to tie the knot, or older couples who are getting remarried, the pre-nuptial agreement predetermines the way assets will be divided in a divorce settlement, or marital agreement.  While it may not always seem fair to the spouse with fewer assets, it is usually the simplest way forward.  These pre-marital agreements may have a number of detractors, but most people find that they take the guesswork out of getting divorced.  When couples have young children, there is a real benefit to keeping the conflict to a minimum.

Anyone who has heard the horror stories that can occur in a contested divorce will tell you “get a pre-nuptial agreement!”  You may think that only celebrities lose their fortunes in divorce settlements, but an ex-spouse could prevail against you in court too.  Marital agreements can take months or years to iron out, and cost a bundle in court costs.  When you have a lot at stake, or you expect to inherit a lot of money, most family lawyers will tell you to push for a pre-nup even if it hurts your fiancé’s - or fiancée’s feelings.   In many well-to-do families, refusing to sign these pre-marital agreements can be a deal breaker.

For example, if you have a Colorado Springs -based family business, a large investment portfolio or other significant assets in your possession at the time of marriage, you would not want to lose this wealth if your marriage were to end in divorce.  Take it from a Colorado divorce lawyer; you would much rather deal with a pre-nuptial agreement now than a contested marital agreement later.  A pre-nuptial agreement can do more than protect you from future losses; it can also limit how much spousal support or alimony an ex-spouse can receive.

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