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Considerations For Prenuptial Agreements

Engaged couples in Louisiana may be concerned about discussing their money matters before the marriage. This sensitive subject is often dismissed and viewed as uncomfortable and difficult to deliberate. However, many people feel it is important to protect their assets in case the union should not last. More mature individuals who have been previously married and divorced may better understand the rationality of prenuptial agreements and draft the documents for practical reasons. However, spouses who are within the 20 to 30 age range may tend to avoid the subject.

The exact number of prenuptial agreements that are in force is not known because there are no disclosure requirements to report such events. However, it is important to understand the difference between separate property and marital property when contemplating a prenuptial agreement.

Separate property includes real estate, inheritance and other assets acquired prior the marriage, and those assets are not subject to division when divorcing. Marital property includes all assets acquired during the marriage, and it is generally divided during divorce proceedings.

Generally, when drafting such documents, younger couples should focus their attention on larger assets. For example, the agreement might outline how a family home is handled if a divorce occurs. Additionally, a partner who is expecting a large inheritance might also want to include those assets in the discussion.

Even with an agreement presenting guidelines for the division of assets, divorce proceedings can become contentious and complicated. When this occurs, it may be beneficial for both parties to retain independent legal counsel that could represent their interests during negotiations or in court.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Prenuptial Agreements: The Ultimate Symbol of Love?“, Justine Borer, August 22, 2014

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