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Maryland family law matters: Prenuptial agreements good idea?

With more and more Americans living a greater number of years, divorce and remarriages are becoming an increasing phenomenon. It is no surprise, then, that Maryland residents who find themselves contemplating remarriages are also considering steps that they can take to protect the number of assets they have accumulated over the years. Family law matters like these can be critical for those who have more assets by virtue of having lived longer than the stereotypical starry-eyed newlyweds.

Prenuptial agreements are one method that future spouses can take to protect themselves, not to mention any children from previous marriages that may be in the picture. Marriage is an important commitment between two people that most tend to view in a romanticized light. The reality of the matter, however, is that any commitment this important should be considered from all angles. The failure to discuss financial issues before marriage is one common culprit that often leads to divorce.

By negotiating the terms of a prenuptial agreement ahead of time, couples can discuss many of the financial habits and circumstances that are important to them. This can help both enter the marriage with a clear understanding of what they're getting into, and whether their financial viewpoints mesh well together. Even if they don't, this can provide the opportunity for couples to decide whether they can compromise before they actually raise the stakes by getting married.

A prenuptial agreement can also establish the estate planning terms for how children from previous relationships along with children from the new marriage will be treated after the death of one or both spouses. This can be a good idea even in Maryland families where stepparents and stepchildren appear to get along really well. Prenuptial agreements that take all of these things into consideration can help prevent family law issues from turning into a familial split down the road, especially in cases where a divorce does occur.

Source: The Holland Sentinel, "Money Matters: Should I sign a prenuptial agreement to protect my assets when I remarry?" May 8, 2013

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