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Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement Necessary?

A pre-nuptial agreement, also known as simply a prenuptial or an ante-nuptial agreement, is thought to be good business and a smart consideration when it comes to financial planning. It is unfortunate but statistics tell us that one in three of every first marriages end in divorce in the United States while as many as 50 percent of second marriages end in divorce.

It is important to bear in mind that marriage is not just a union of the emotional and physical but it also brings together the finances of both individuals. As opposed to fostering more anxiety and stress, pre-nuptial agreements often help to develop more trust between the bride and groom-to-be and can protect the financial well-being of the upcoming nuptials. This means there is one less thing to worry about when the wedding day arrives. The pre-nuptial agreement is a legal document that is essentially a form of insurance. One hopes that it will never need to be put into play but if it does at least the two people involved will have it on hand and neither one will feel cheated out of their assets.

If a pre-nuptial agreement is negotiated fairly for both parties then in the event of a divorce both people are financially cared for. For the spouse who is more financially well off, a pre-nuptial agreement provides some reassurance of what happens in the event of a divorce while for the less financially advantaged spouse it is a form of a guarantee of the property or properties he or she is entitled to if the marriage comes to an end.

By not having a pre-nuptial agreement if you disagree on how assets should be divided the state will then make the final decision. In this case it is anyone’s guess what could happen to everything you both have worked hard to earn throughout your lives. Your spouse’s children from a previous marriage could benefit from your joined assets, leaving nothing for your own children or one person could get almost everything. This is a very disturbing state of affairs especially if one person worked very hard to develop a business or become proficient in a profession that eventually became financially lucrative.

It is most common for individuals who are marrying for a second time (or even a third) to have pre-nuptial agreements drawn up. This is particularly the case if they have children from their first marriage and/or considerable assets to think about. Many people do not want their children from their first marriage to be cut out of any financial gain in the event of their marriage not standing the test of time. The second most common group of people to have pre-nuptial agreements drawn up are those who choose to marry later in their life, after they have built up considerable assets. In this way the person wishes to protect what they have spent their lifetime building. Some people who marry later in life have children from previous relationships and want to make sure that they are not forgotten in the event of a divorce.

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