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Things to consider before wedding bells chime

Your dream has come true: The person you've been dating and with whom you've fallen deeply in love is going to marry you! While your heart may be beating a thousand times per second, and your mind rushing forth to all the exciting preparations you will soon undertake to plan your big event, you might want to pause and consider a particular planning tool many other couples have implemented in Delaware and throughout the nation.

This may come in handy in the future

A prenuptial agreement is an effective planning tool used by many couples who intend to wed. You may know someone who has used this type of contract to protect assets or limit debt liability in the future. The following list states other factors commonly mentioned in prenuptial agreements:

  • Children from a previous marriage: If you want to make sure your children from a prior marriage inherit certain property you own, you can include these intentions in a pre-nup.
  • Arrangements for post secondary education: If tuition is to be paid by one or the other intended spouse, this can be specified in a prenuptial contract.
  • Settlement choices: Many couples determine ahead of time that they will use arbitration or alternative means of negotiation should future disagreements arise that warrant resolution assistance.

Whether to use a prenuptial agreement is entirely up to you and your future spouse. It is a personal decision and an option which, if chosen, is highly customizable to suit individual needs and long-term goals.

Top reasons for signing prenuptial agreements

Getting divorced is probably one of the last things you want to think about when planning your wedding. However, the reality is that many marriages do not last a lifetime, and it may be better to think ahead and prepare for such possibilities while you and your intended spouse are on good terms. There are many reasons couples enter prenuptial agreements, including the following:

  • Separation of assets: A prenuptial contract allows you to clarify who owns what in order to determine whether assets are subject to division as community property in a divorce.
  • Naming a debtor: You can specify exactly who will be responsible for certain debts, such as college loans or outstanding debts incurred before marriage.
  • Specify inheritance: If there are certain assets you wish to set aside for a particular person or withhold from your potential future spouse, you may include instructions regarding such matters in a prenuptial contract. (It is always wise to support such instructions by executing a thorough estate plan.)

One or more of the above reasons for using a pre-nup may apply to you. You may also have other concerns that can easily be addressed with this process. No two contracts are exactly alike and each couple is able to make changes and update their document, as necessary.

Do not be fooled into thinking that by considering whether to sign a prenuptial contract you are setting the stage for divorce. There are plenty of people who have secured prenuptial agreements who have gone on to celebrate their golden wedding anniversaries together. Acting alongside an experienced family law advocate to create a strong prenuptial plan is merely one option among many to help you build the marriage of your dreams.

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