Should I get a prenuptial agreement?

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Wedding rings and prenups - Law Office of Jennifer Messick LawAsking for a prenuptial agreement is definitely an idea that makes most future spouses uncomfortable. The idea of having your financial interests protected in case of divorce, however, may entice you to take precaution, even if you don’t foresee a split.

As experienced divorce attorneys, we’ve seen the messy side of many marriages—the end—and know that countless exes wish they had written up a prenuptial agreement. Because judges and state laws vary, it can be impossible to predict exactly how a court will divide your assets.

U.S. News & World Report recently posted an article that details why asking for a prenup might not be such a bad idea after all.

First, talking about “what ifs” might shed some light on aspects of your relationship not previously considered. Most spouses enter marriage in similar circumstances: both are building their career. If children come into the picture and one stops working, however, that limits their earning power.

Situations like this where alimony could become involved may surprise you if you talk with your spouse-to-be before marriage.

A typical prenup only costs $2,500. While some websites offer do-it-yourself prenups, there aren’t always comprehensive and often don’t meet all the legal requirements necessary for it to stand. To create a valid prenuptial agreement, each spouse should hire their own lawyer (not the same, as that would create an ethical conflict of interest that would invalidate the agreement).

If a couple waits until the last minute to create a prenup, there can be unnecessary stress and pressure added.

In community property states, prenups are even more important. In these states, such as Texas and California, a couple’s assets are usually divided in half regardless of circumstances. While not a community property state, Alaska does allow couples to opt into a community property arrangement. In this case, property is separate property unless both parties agree to make it community property through an agreement or trust.

No one wants to begin his or her marriage considering the possibility of divorce. The truth, as bleak as it may be, is that many couples still decide to split later, leaving one or both partners in financial ruin.

If you have questions about prenuptial agreements or divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney.

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About Jenn Messick

I am an attorney practicing at M/V Alaska Law, an Anchorage, AK law firm helping clients all throughout Alaska navigate legal issues in divorce, family law, probate, and bankruptcy. I'm an outdoors person who enjoys hiking, skiing, hunting, spending time with family, and the beautiful scenery in Alaska. Jenn Messick's Google+ Profile

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