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How to ask for a prenuptial agreement

Many people understand that the divorce rate in America today is extremely high. Though the exact numbers vary from study to study, it seems clear that a significant percentage of marriages will end in divorce.

Many spouses, then, are looking to prenuptial agreements as a way to safeguard against the difficulties of the divorce process. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that provides a guideline for a marital separation. It simplifies the divorce process, allowing both spouses to separate more quickly and at a lesser expense. Prenuptial agreements also allow spouses to maintain control of the assets that are important to them, such as heirlooms, real estate and inheritances.

Many soon-to-be married, however, have difficulty asking for a prenuptial agreement. Simply put, it is not a popular option among many, and few want to think about divorce as they are planning for a wedding.

Those seeking a prenuptial agreement should be honest with their partners, clearly explaining the reason they want the document. As you do so, be honest about your assets and debts, and about the property you want to protect in the event of a divorce.

Soon-to-be spouses should also be prepared to hire an attorney for assistance. Each partner will need a separate attorney; both lawyers will assist their clients by representing their interests and ensuring that the prenuptial agreement is sound and valid. Throughout this process, be prepared to negotiate -- respectfully -- over the assets and policies that are important to you. Don't expect to get everything you want -- this is a process of give-and-take.

Finally, those planning to ask for a prenuptial agreement should do it as quickly as possible; ideally, the document should be completed shortly after the engagement. This will help you separate the legal process of the prenuptial agreement from a much more joyful event: your wedding.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How to Request a Pre-Nup and Still Get Married" Daniel Clement, Jan. 24, 2014

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