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Deciding whether to get a prenuptial agreement

17858916_S.jpgSome Missouri couples who are planning on getting married might want to consider a prenuptial agreement. In 2010, a Harris Interactive poll found that 15 percent of people who were divorced regretted the lack of a prenup. Furthermore, there have been high-profile celebrity cases in which people have paid out a considerable amount of their estate in a divorce.

A prenup can cover how property will be divided in the event the marriage ends. However, it cannot contain provisions that violate state law, such as child support. Furthermore, if one person fails to disclose some assets, the prenup may be invalidated. This may also be the case if appears that either person was coerced into making the agreement.

Both raising the issue of a prenup and negotiating it can be difficult for couples. If one person in the couple brings it up, the other person might feel as though there is a lack of trust in the relationship. There may be a sense that the person suggesting the prenup is already preparing for divorce.

Another possibility is a postnuptial agreement. This is an agreement that is created after the marriage. However, because of the marriage, the potential for coercion might be considered to be higher, so a court may scrutinize the agreement even more carefully to be sure neither person was pressured and both people received adequate legal counsel. If a couple does get a divorce, the property division aspect may go more smoothly if these issues have already been decided. However, couples who do not have a prenup might still be able to negotiate an agreement for property division rather than going through litigation. They might be happier with the outcome than they would be with a judge's decision.

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