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Should a prenuptial agreement be part of your wedding plans?

Since the moment you and your beloved decided to get married, you've probably relived the whole proposal experience a thousand times in your mind. You may even remember the first person you called to share your exciting news. Whether you and your soon-to-be spouse planned on tying on the knot within a few short weeks or began working on a longer-range plan, the delight of preparing for your own wedding day likely soared to the top of your "fun things to do" list.

What type of Minnesota wedding would you have -- simple, extravagant, outdoor, in a church? Would you gather only your closest friends and relatives or fill an enormous venue with several hundred guests? What would the food menu include at the reception? What time of year would you celebrate your wedding? These are all typical questions intended spouses ask themselves when planning their big days. There are other important things you might want to consider as well, however, such as whether to sign a prenuptial agreement.

Some say it's highly unromantic

You've likely heard it said that entering a prenuptial contract is a sure-fire way to kill romance. Others understand that not only is that not necessarily true, and that signing a pre-marital agreement can be quite beneficial in a number of ways. In fact, you and your spouse may look back on your pre-wedding day years from now and feel thankful that you decided to draft a prenuptial contract. Here are several potential benefits of signing this type of agreement:

  • You and/or your intended spouse may own property separately from one another that you wish to keep separate, even after you're married. A prenuptial agreement allows you to document such wishes.
  • Minnesota is similar to most other states when it comes to property division in divorce. Although, you're not expecting your marriage to end this way, it's always best to prepare for the unexpected, just in case. This state operates on equitable division guidelines, which means the court would determine how to fairly divide all marital assets if you decide to sever your marital ties. A prenuptial agreement allows you to differentiate between marital and non-marital property.
  • No matter how much you love the person you plan to marry, there may be debts neither of you wants to share. By signing a prenuptial agreement, you can assign specific debt liability to one person or the other.

It's a fact that financial disagreements often lead to divorce. Putting your thoughts in writing and signing a contract ahead of time may actually help strengthen your marital bond. It can also give you peace of mind knowing you and your future spouse are on the same page when it comes to financial and property matters. This way, if a problem arises down the line, you can refer to your existing prenuptial agreement if you need to seek outside support.

Some people decide to wait until after they're married to implement formal contracts. These documents are known as post-nuptial agreements. Another benefit of either process is that both are highly customizable. It's a personal choice; you can simply explore all options available and decide what works best for your particular situation. It often helps to speak with someone who understands the legal ramifications of such agreements before determining how to proceed to meet your immediate needs and future goals.

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Marvin Law Office, L.L.C.

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Anoka, MN 55303

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