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Prenuptial agreements may not be romantic, but they are practical

Couples in Rhode Island who are engaged to be married may have stars in their eyes, but they should not forget the financial practicalities that married life will bring. After all, they may have an idea as to whose property should be whose, and what property will be owned by the two of them. One way to cement these notions is by creating a prenuptial agreement. And, in fact, according to a 2013 American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey, 63 percent of members surveyed stated that they saw an uptick in the creation of prenuptial agreement since 2010.

Of course, a prenuptial agreement can address how property will be split should the couple divorce, but it can do so much more. For example, it can also address how property will be distributed if one spouse passes away. This can especially come in handy if it is one or both of the spouses' second marriage, and there are children from the first marriage. Also, prenuptial agreements can establish how much spousal support, if any, will be paid should the couple divorce. Prenuptial agreements are meant to protect both spouses' financial interests, as well as make the divorce process run smoother, should it come to that.

In the end, if a marriage doesn't end in divorce, it will ultimately end when one spouse dies. Negotiating a fair prenuptial agreement before getting married may not be romantic, but it is especially important for those in Rhode Island who come into the marriage with significant assets, or who expect to gain significant assets while married. Having these financial issues addressed and agreed upon can put both spouse's minds at ease. Moreover, being honest and upfront about finances and other marital issues can set the stage for good communication later on down the road.

Any couple in Rhode Island heading down the aisle expects that their marriage will last forever. However, the reality is that many marriages end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be one way to address family law issues in a positive setting, rather than trying to resolve them during a nasty court battle down the road.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Is a Prenup a Must for Most Couples?," March 1, 2015

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