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Why a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea

People in Maryland who are getting married may want to consider a prenup, particularly if they own a business, have a blended family or are getting married for the second time. A person who is bringing assets into the marriage may want a prenup that will protect those assets.

The same may be true if one spouse is likely to run up debts. With a prenup, the other spouse will not be saddled with those debts if the two divorce. If one person has a business and there is no prenup, in a divorce, the spouse could get part of the business. A prenup can even be used to decide who will get the pets.

If the couple has a significant income disparity, a prenup can also be important. It may set rules for alimony that can help the lower-earning spouse feel confident about financial security if there is a divorce. In some cases, one spouse may leave the workforce altogether in order to raise children. This may affect that person's career trajectory, and while child support generally ends when the child becomes an adult, the other parent may need support for longer.

Some people may fear a discussion about a prenup because they think it will make them more likely to get a divorce. However, it can be an important tool for premarital communication.

A prenup could be challenged during a divorce if one person feels there was coercion, the terms are unfair or one person did not get adequate legal counsel. However, even if this is the case or if there is no prenup, a couple might still be able to reach an agreement about property division through negotiation. An attorney may be able to assist a person in getting an accurate picture of the value of assets and how the process might proceed.

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