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Why prenuptial agreements are needed for every couple

Thumbnail image for 18620693_S.jpgAt least one columnist insists that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is absolutely essential for any woman who plans on marrying and becoming a stay-at-home mother. The great concern should be the compensation such an individual would receive after foregoing employment during the years where they would otherwise be receiving the highest amount of earnings.

It's obviously going to be difficult for someone who has been away from the workforce to immediately pick up an occupation that will meet his or her future financial needs.  When a stay-at-home mother decides to reenter the workforce, it's not likely that she will have the same earning power than she may have had at an earlier time.  A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can at least set out what the couple's financial and property expectations will be in the event of a legal separation or divorce.

Conversations concerning finances should take place prior to a marriage. It's good to speak of the handling of finances in advance to prevent later surprises. It can also prevent future disagreements by laying out one’s expectations when a couple enters into marriage.  As an aside, if couples cannot speak about these matters prior to marriage there is a good chance that communication will not improve at a time when the marriage is about to break-up.

Please speak to a family law attorney experienced in divorce and financial planning concerning any agreements entered into before or after a marriage. Attorneys can provide an objective voice and bring up concerns that a couple may not have anticipated. An attorney licensed in Missouri can also make certain that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is enforceable and meets the legal requirements of our state.

Source: CNBC, "Why stay-at-home moms need a 'postnup'," Jeff Landers, Dec. 21, 2013

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