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How to prepare for executing a prenuptial agreement

While love can do many things, sometimes a couple's life changes in significant ways. Couples in Virginia may find as the years go on that they have fundamental disagreements on major life issues, or they may find they have simply drifted apart. No matter what the reason, however, they may come to the conclusion that life is too short to spend in an unhappy marriage, and they are better off divorcing.

With that in mind, people engaged to be married should think about more than just their wedding day and future dreams. They may want to take the very practical step of creating a prenuptial agreement, especially since in today's society it is not unusual for a couple to divorce. It is better to be prepared, and a prenup can protect one's interests from the get-go.

When a couple decides to execute a prenup, they should make sure that they each are represented by an attorney. Usually there are certain legalities that must be followed in order for a prenup to be legally enforceable. Moreover, an attorney can make sure the ultimate document is fair and appropriate.

When executing a prenup, each party must make a complete disclosure of all his or her properties and debts. Therefore, having the applicable records, statements and deeds, along with tax returns, on hand can help. In fact, having more than one copy of these documents may be necessary.

A prenup can address which assets will be considered marital and which will be considered separate. In addition, prenups can address other financial issues, such as how a party will pass their assets on to their heirs. Also, if a party wants his or her fiancé to waive income or assets in the prenup, they may want to pay their fiancé a certain amount of money during the course of the marriage.

Similarly, do not be too hasty to waive spousal support. After all, no one can tell what the future will bring -- a person's financial needs may not be the same later on down the road. Also, keep in mind that a party cannot waive child support in a prenup.

These are only some points to think about if you decide to enter into a prenup. By being prepared with the right info and legal representation, a person can make the process of drafting a legally-sound prenup easier for all involved.

Source: Mediate.com, "10 Things to Consider Before Signing a Prenuptial Agreement," Debbie Smith, Sept. 2017

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