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What Alabama couples should know about a prenuptial agreement

A recent article discussed issues concerning contracts drawn up between engaged couples as opposed to those entered into after a marriage takes place. Alabama couples might wonder if a prenuptial agreement is better or worse than a post-nuptial contract. The article offered information on both of these legally binding documents.

Some people say that the time before marriage should be spent talking about love, family and celebration rather than discussing a premarital contract between future spouses. Others believe that waiting until after the wedding to decide the legalities of property division, pre-marital assets and other pertinent items of interest can be a recipe for disaster should a divorce subsequently occur. The simple truth is that many marriages end in divorce. Those who advocate for prenuptial contracts say that having it all spelled out before the wedding helps to avoid complication and stress if the marriage does end in divorce.

Couples who choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement are obligated to fully disclose financial information and provide documentation of accounts, copies of tax forms and other information. Absent other evidence of fraud or unfairness, the prenuptial agreement typically remains legally binding unless one spouse proves that the other did not fully disclose financial information prior to the marriage. Many believe a prenup is one way to ensure that personal assets remain separate property once the wedding takes place.

Since most assets are considered jointly owned once a couple is married, a post-nuptial agreement leans more toward asset division than clarifying who owns what. Those considering a post nuptial agreement will want to be specific about who will be responsible for which debts, who will take possession of specified property and how each jointly owned asset will be divided. In matters where children are concerned, neither type of contract is enforceable. Child support, child custody and visitation issues are typically determined based upon the best interests of the children.

Alabama couples can decide whether they will make use of a prenuptial agreement, a post nuptial agreement or none at all. Those with questions can seek legal consultation with an experienced family law attorney. This can help clarify applicable laws as well as provide suggestions for how best to proceed when attempting to protect one's assets before and after the wedding day.

Source: credit.com, "Prenup vs. Postnup: Which Is Better?", Rebecca Zung, June 1. 2015

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