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Property division and prenuptial agreements

When a couple decides to file for divorce, there are a number of concerns that need to be addressed. One particular issue that arises is property division. Property division can become confusing and frustrating as both spouses try to figure out what assets they want to hold on to and what assets they are willing to give up.

With all the celebrity divorces in the news, the concept of a prenuptial agreement has also been a topic of discussion. This type of agreement determines before marriage what each spouse will walk away with if they separate in the future. And as the average age to get married is increasing, more couples are entering marriage with more assets and more debt.

Though property division laws vary from state-to-state, it is important to understand what assets are brought into the marriage by each partner. Some debt remains the debt of the person who originally owed money. But other types of debt, such as combined credit card accounts, are the responsibility of both the husband and wife.

In addition, a prenuptial agreement can help a couple understand what financial shape they are in when they get married. Knowing how much money and how much debt each spouse is bringing into the marriage can prevent surprises later on down the line.

The article provides some tips that can help a couple when creating a prenuptial agreement. First, ensure that there is enough time to understand the prenuptial agreement before the wedding. Also make sure that someone who is objective looks at the terms of the agreement. A couple should also make sure they understand the property laws of their specific state.

Despite these helpful tips, couples who find themselves in the middle of divorce proceedings without a prenuptial agreement should speak with someone who understands property division laws for their particular state. This can help the couple achieve the best result for all involved.

Source: MSNBC online, "5 tips on planning a prenuptial agreement," Catherine New, 20 April 2011

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