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Prenups can ease divorce settlement woes

More and more couples are making the decision to draft prenuptial agreements prior to walking down the aisle. In fact, a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reveals that members experienced a recent increase in prenups of 63 percent. Many Missouri residents understand that these marital contracts can be a powerful financial tool, and can make reaching a divorce settlement far easier if that need should arise. Instead of feeling uncomfortable broaching the topic, many couples are eager to discuss the matter with a family law attorney.

As potent a tool as a prenup can be, it is important to understand that there are circumstances that can render the contract null and void. For example, one of the most common challenges to a prenup is the claim that the contract was entered into without a proper disclosure of all assets. If one spouse fails to disclose the full range of his or her wealth at the time the prenup is drafted, the entire document can be thrown out in court.

Another common error lies in waiting too long to complete the process of drafting and signing the prenup. Each party needs plenty of time to discuss the matter with legal counsel, look over the final draft and make an informed decision before signing on the bottom line. When a prenup is drafted in the weeks leading up to a wedding, one spouse may be placed under a great deal of pressure to sign. If the marriage ends in divorce, that party could claim that he or she signed the agreement under duress.

While a prenuptial agreement is an excellent financial planning tool, these marital contracts are only effective if they are properly created and signed. Missouri couples must make every effort to complete a comprehensive financial disclosure process when drafting a prenup, and should then leave plenty of time for the agreement to be reviewed and signed. By taking these and other steps, couples can attain a high degree of confidence that if the union should end, a divorce settlement would be far easier to reach by following the provisions laid out within their agreement.

Source: Fortune, "What we can learn about prenups from the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Garner divorce", Laura J. Vogel, July 4, 2015

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