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Prenuptial agreements better than using separate bank accounts

Entering into a premarital agreement may seem like a quick path to getting divorced in the near future. However, premarital agreements -- which are also commonly known as prenuptial agreements -- can actually be helpful for a marriage, as they allow couples in Massachusetts to discuss their finances and marital expectations before they walk down the aisle. These agreements essentially spell out both parties' rights, as well as their obligations, in the event they get divorced.

With a prenuptial agreement, both future spouses can make it clear what liabilities and assets both parties bring individually into the marriage. Those who do not create prenuptial agreements may end up causing strain on their marriages anyway in the beginning, as they try to safeguard their assets. For example, they might try to set up separate bank accounts that will hold their separate funds. In this way, community assets are never comingled into an account during their marriage.

The challenge with setting up separate accounts, however, is that it still might not be enough to protect one's fortune. If there is no premarital agreement, cash dividends that are distributed during the course of the marriage will be deemed community property. The same is true for salary earned and interest that has been accrued during the marital union.

Putting together prenuptial agreements in Massachusetts may seem tricky and overwhelming, especially for those with high-value assets going into a marriage. However, the presence of highly valuable assets makes the creation of a prenuptial agreement even more critical. An attorney can help with drafting these agreements in a manner that pleases both parties and protects one's best interests long term.

Source: dmagazine.com, "Yours, Mine, & Ours", May 12, 2017

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