Pre-nuptial agreements

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
A pre-nuptial agreement is a binding legal contract between two people who intend to marry. A pre-nuptial agreement may also be called a 'pre-marital agreement.' Generally, a pre-nuptial agreement sets down rules regarding a couple's finances. For example, if one party is wealthy, he or she may ask the other party to sign a pre-nuptial agreement that states that the money won't be equally divided upon divorce. Some people have pre-nuptial agreements to try to ensure that their assets will remain theirs if the marriage fails, to provide that some of their assets go to their children in the event of death, or to work out arrangements for matters that may become problems after the marriage. Pre-nuptial agreements usually cover the couple's prior marital history and family circumstances, what property and prospects each spouse is bringing into the marriage, who will own the investment earnings from the property, and what will happen to the earnings of each spouse. A pre-nuptial agreement might also cover what happens with property one spouse may inherit, what happens in the event of the death of a spouse, how taxes will be handled, the level of support in the event of a divorce, and what happens to debts owed both before and during the marriage.

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