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Prenuptial agreements help with protecting valuable assets

For a couple who is interested in getting married in Massachusetts, bypassing the prenuptial agreement may be tempting in an effort to avoid any unwanted conflict. However, prenuptial agreements are important for protecting any assets they have separately before they say their I Dos. A couple of items are especially essential to include in this type of legal agreement.

Any valuable property that one party owns before getting married needs to be included in the prenuptial agreement. The diamond ring received during a proposal counts as this valuable property, as it is considered a gift. For this reason, having the ring appraised is important in order to determine its value.

If one party who is about to get married has his or her own business, this also needs to be listed in the agreement as separate property. Any rise in the property's value after the wedding day also needs to be listed in the prenuptial agreement. Unless they are excluded in the agreement, any assets that a couple acquires after getting married are considered to be marital. For this reason, a party's failing to specify that the rising value of his or her business will remain just his or hers, and any extra value would end up belonging to both parties. This is true even if this business is only in one party's name.

For couples in Massachusetts that are ready to divorce but do not have prenuptial agreements, they may still benefit from divorce negotiation. In this process, a couple can determine how to split up their assets in a manner they consider to be mutually beneficial. During negotiation, it is within one's rights to pursue a fair share of assets, considering the circumstances surrounding the divorce case.

Source: brides.com, "The 6 Things You're Forgetting to Include in Your Prenup (From a Divorce Lawyer)", Jaimie Mackey, July 29, 2017

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