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How to decide whether to get a prenuptial agreement

Some Maryland couples who are planning on getting married might wonder whether they need to get a prenuptial agreement. There are several circumstances in which this may be the right choice.

For example, if a person owns a business, a prenup may be necessary. Without a prenup, a person who owns a business might be required to share a portion of the business with the spouse in the case of a divorce. If either spouse has debt, a prenup can protect each of them from being responsible for the other's debt. Some couples may have complex premarital assets that include not just a family business but also real estate, investments and more. A prenup can also protect a person if the couple moves to another state. For example, Maryland is not a community property state, but California is. If a couple moves there, marital property might be divided equally if there is not a prenup.

Talking about getting a prenup can be a difficult conversation. Some people may feel that it means the couple is preparing for divorce before they have even married, but this is not the case. A prenup is simply a way for people to protect themselves in the event the marriage does end in divorce.

If the couple does not have a prenup, they may have to go through a process of property division. The couple has the choice of negotiating an agreement or going to court. The advantage of the former is that it gives the couple control over the process. They may work together to reach a decision, or their attorneys might help. Going to court may be more expensive and take more time, and it also might mean they relinquish control of the outcome. However, if one spouse is uncooperative or if talks break down, litigation might be the only solution.

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