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What topics can a prenuptial agreement in Rhode Island cover?

Deciding to get married is a big step for many couples in Rhode Island. Planning the big event can take months, with couples obsessing over every minor detail. Yet one often overlooked discussion that should be had prior to walking down the aisle is a discussion about finances, and in particular whether to create a prenuptial agreement. Per Rhode Island law, prenuptial agreements can cover several topics.

Prenuptial agreements can dictate what rights and obligations each partner has with regards to any property they own either separately or together as marital property. This includes laying out who has the right to buy property, use property, sell property and in any other way manage the property.

Prenuptial agreements can also cover asset distribution should the couple divorce. This can be very important in protecting each spouse's financial interests, and may lessen the financial strain of divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also dictate what is to happen to the couple's property should one or both spouses pass away. This can be especially important if a spouse has children from a previous marriage.

Similarly, who will be responsible for what debts, both during the marriage and in the event of a divorce can also be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. This can be a good way to shield one spouse from having to take on debts that were solely in the name of the other spouse.

In addition, prenuptial agreements can address the issue of spousal support should the couple divorce. However, a prenuptial agreement cannot adversely affect child support.

Couples can determine which state's law will govern the creation of the prenuptial agreement, and in the end prenuptial agreements can include any other matter that does not violate the law or public policy.

Prenuptial agreements may not be romantic but they are important part of family law. Couples in Rhode Island should be on the same page financially, and a prenuptial agreement can bring these issues out into the open and resolved to each party's satisfaction.

Source:, "Uniform Premarital Agreement Act," Accessed Feb. 24, 2015

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