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Prenuptial agreement: Marriage planning or divorce planning?

Planning for a wedding involves numerous details. The flowers, cake and photographs are all important; however, perhaps one of the most important details is to remember to plan for the marriage. After the festivities are done, real life sets in and married life with all of its ups and downs takes over. While a prenuptial agreement may appear to be planning for a divorce rather than a wedding, it is certainly a vital tool in marriage planning for many California couples.

One of the primary reasons that the prenuptial agreement should be considered a marriage planning tool is that it offers the couple an opportunity to honestly discuss their current situation as it relates to spending, assets and debts. It also provides a forum for the couple to discuss plans concerning any children that may already be a part of their lives as well as any future children that they may have together. Such a discussion prior to the marriage can prevent surprises later on.

It is also likely that the personal financial situation of one or both individuals will change over the course of the marriage. One individual's career may blossom, and this individual's earnings may escalate. It is also possible that one of the individual's may choose to leave the workforce for a period of time. This can have a dramatic effect on earnings potential if there is a sudden need to reenter the workforce.

Unfortunately, approximately 50 percent of marriages do not last. However, by honestly discussing these issues as well as others prior to the marriage and creating a prenuptial agreement, these issues should not come as a surprise down the road. While the California couple does not want to plan for a divorce, they do want to plan for both the wedding and their marriage.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Is a prenup unromantic, or the smartest thing you could ever do?", Alessandra Malito, Sept. 23, 2016

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