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Planning the wedding and the divorce?

Many Alabama residents consider themselves “planners.” From planning out parties and other social events, to vacations or even just dinner and other everyday events, many individuals pride themselves on planning out details to make the event successful.

When it comes to marriage, many may think the most important piece of planning is the wedding itself. While this event certainly entails a lot of effort and money, there is another area where planning can pay off and that is the area of premarital agreements.

As discussed previously in this blog, when individuals get divorced and must divide marital property, it can sometimes be tricky to determine which spouse gets to keep certain assets. Some of this uncertainty may be reduced or eliminated with a premarital agreement which can spell out simple property division, detailing which spouse keeps which assets in the event of a divorce.

Premarital agreements, however, may contain only certain types of provisions. For instance, the agreement may lay out the asset division between the parties, what type of property is separate property and what is marital property. This might be particularly beneficial when one spouse owns a business or other higher-valued assets that the spouse wants to keep in the event of a divorce.

On the other hand, premarital agreements cannot dictate which spouse will receive custody of the children or how much child support will be paid. These are determinations that must be approved by the court based on the best interests of the child.

Accordingly, couples entering into marriage should consider executing a premarital agreement to save themselves from risk and conflict later on. On the other hand, those who already have a premarital agreement may want to consult an attorney to determine if the provisions in that agreement are valid or what the effect of a particular provision may be.

Source: Forbes, “What the end of DOMA means (and doesn’t mean) for divorcing same-sex couples,” Jeff Landers, Aug. 1, 2013