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Prenups prove useful in divorce discussions

Prenuptial agreements have historically been viewed as tools for the rich and famous. However, prenups can be beneficial for many Iowa couples and others around the country, regardless of the size of their bank accounts. A popular business magazine recently highlighted several instances when marital agreements would be of great use to couples should they get a divorce in the future.

Most states consider a business to be marital property if it was started after a couple got married. In addition, any gains in the value of the business during the marriage are marital property as well. Difficulties can arise when a couple gets a divorce and attempts are made to get a business valuation. A prenuptial agreement can alleviate any contention as an agreement has already been made as to how the business will be divided.

Another issue to consider is where a couple lives prior to a divorce. Every state has unique laws regarding property division, spousal support and other factors in a divorce. One state may have laws more favorable to those wishing to receive alimony payments, when another's rules are more stringent. To safeguard family inheritances or other assets in a divorce, a prenup would be necessary. The agreement would go with the couple, no matter where they may relocate.

While prenuptial agreements typically address how to handle issues in the event of a divorce, they can also be used to detail what actions should be taken upon the death of one spouse. Of course, a will or trust are the documents that are mainly used for this purpose. However, a prenup could include some useful information, such as a waiver of the right of election. This waiver would allow a spouse to pass along his or her estate to whomever they choose.

Establishing a prenup prior to marriage or a postnuptial agreement if someone is already married can be beneficial should a couple decide to divorce later. An Iowa family law lawyer can provide guidance in developing these useful documents. An experienced attorney will work with clients to ensure that they are protected both currently and for the future.

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

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