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Prenuptial agreements can help protect family wealth

Prenuptial agreements can be an important concern for people in Maryland heading into marriage with significant family wealth. Unless the concept of a prenup was regularly discussed by and normalized in the family, many people may feel awkward, uncomfortable or mistrustful raising the issue of such an agreement. At times, parents may try to force their children into a prenuptial agreement, creating even more stress. This could be the case even when the parents are well-intended and looking to protect family wealth from being divided unnecessarily.

No one wants to go into marriage thinking about divorce; however, it can have a significant effect on finances. While premarital income is generally not considered part of the marital estate, creating an agreement can help to clearly differentiate between family money, like inheritances, and marital funds. Parents who want to protect their family money or business would be well-served by discussing prenuptial agreements on an ongoing basis as a part of financial health and well-being. When parents raise the issue of a prenuptial agreement without that prior discussion, it can seem as if it is an attack on a specific partner of their child, shutting down further communication.

In addition, a prenuptial agreement can be an important way to review family finances in a more comprehensive manner. In order to sign a legal prenup, a person will need to fully understand and disclose their assets. The process can give young people a much deeper understanding of family wealth, assets and their own role in that ongoing legacy.

While thinking about a prenuptial agreement can be challenging, it might be worse to deal with divorce without one. Whether or not a prenuptial agreement exists, a family law attorney may help people protect their assets at the end of a marriage and work hard to achieve a fair, just settlement in the property division process.

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