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Do you need a prenuptial agreement?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Divorce

The lead-up to a wedding is usually a magical time. But the numbers are clear: Thousands of Massachusetts couples see their marriage end in divorce each year. Is there a way for you to prepare for this eventuality?

Prenuptial agreements are a way to protect the assets of both prospective spouses should their marriage eventually dissolve. There are certain situations where it’s even more critical for a couple to think about getting a prenup.

How prenuptial agreements work

A prenup is a legally binding contract stipulating the financial outcome of a potential divorce. This usually includes any assets that each partner brings into the marriage, but prenups can go much further in dictating how a divorce will be settled.

A prenup can set limits on alimony or any court-mandated payments from one former spouse to the other. It can also handle the possibility of either party receiving a major inheritance after the marriage commences.

It’s also possible to put conditional terms into a prenuptial agreement. A popular term is to indicate either reduced or larger alimony payments should one of the spouses commit adultery.

Who needs prenuptial agreements the most?

Most couples would benefit from how a prenup can simplify the divorce process. But there are some people for whom a prenup ought to be mandatory.

Anyone entering into a marriage while owning high-value assets that predate the relationship should strongly consider a prenup. This is even true if both parties possess significant assets, as in most cases it’s much cleaner to predetermine how those assets will be disposed in the event of a divorce.

If you have a child or children from another relationship, a prenup is an especially good idea. You’ll want to make sure that can protect your children in the event the marriage doesn’t work out.

And if one or both parties comes into the marriage holding significant debt, a prenup is also wise. Debts can be a major sticking point in a divorce proceeding.