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Divorce And Family Law Issues

Prenuptial agreements can deal with more than property division

Reportedly, more and more couples nationwide are signing prenuptial agreements, including in Kentucky. However, many misconceptions exist about marriage agreements, the most common being that they are only used to protect spouses in property division situations in the events of divorces. The truth is that a prenup can deal with many matters and is typically used to set up a framework that will deal with any disputes that might arise. It may even include issues such as gambling, overspending, infidelity, substance abuse and more.

A prenuptial agreement can protect an inheritance or gift from forming part of property division, and it can list the details of the assets each spouse brings into the marriage while also providing protection in the event of one spouse's death. Some people say a prenuptial agreement protects only the spouse with high assets; however, a one-sided contract will likely be rejected by the court. A well-drafted agreement will even safeguard one spouse who took care of the household and the children while putting a hold on his or her career.

Prenuptial agreements must be fair and protect the interests of both parties. It can be challenged by one spouse if it is unconscionable and one-sided. Also, if there is any sign of undue pressure or coercion in the signing of such a contract, a judge may invalidate it. If a marriage agreement is signed on the eve of the wedding, questions may be asked about fraud or duress.

Kentucky couples who want to save money by sharing one attorney when drafting a prenuptial agreement may not realize that the law requires each party to have separate legal counsel when signing such a contract. This can also be beneficial in the event of a divorce. When dealing with property division, having an attorney who is already familiar with a spouse's circumstances may ease the process considerably.

Source: Huffington Post, "Test Your Pre-Nup IQ", Ann Margaret Carrozza, Oct. 25, 2017

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