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Prenuptial agreements may especially help small business owners

Aside from having a baby, getting married is among the most exciting events two people can experience. However, before walking down the aisle, couples may benefit from creating and signing prenuptial agreements. This is particularly true for those who are small business owners in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

A business that is developed during the course of a marriage is legally considered marital property. In other words, both spouses own the business. In the same way, if a spouse had his or her own business before the marriage but developed this business during the marital union, any appreciation that takes place in the business's value is deemed marital property.

However, with a prenuptial agreement, a couple can dictate before they get married how they would like to treat this asset. Perhaps they prefer for the business owner to keep his or her business as separate property no matter what the law dictates. Coming to an agreement on such matters before going down the aisle is much easier than sorting them out once the divorce papers are filed.

However, divorcing couples in Massachusetts who never put together prenuptial agreements before getting married still have options when it comes to addressing asset division and other divorce issues without further court intrusion. For instance, they can reach a settlement through informal negotiations and divorce mediation. An attorney can provide the guidance needed to make sure that a spouse's wishes are upheld and that his or her rights are protected during all stages of the divorce proceeding.

Source: Forbes.com, "Those Who Are Most In Need Of A Prenup May Surprise You," Alyssa Rower, Jan. 28, 2018

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