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Prenuptial agreements and changing attitudes

To many, a prenuptial agreement seems to carry a negative stigma. It questions the possibility of a successful marriage before the marriage has even begun. Today, however, this is no longer the case. In fact, many Massachusetts couples are moving forward with a prenuptial agreement even though they are fully confident that they will have a long, successful marriage.

To eliminate the negative stigma, it is easier to look at the prenuptial agreement as a contract, a legal agreement that is put into place to protect individuals only under certain circumstances. Historically, prenuptial agreements have been used among the wealthy, but the wealthy are not the only individuals who are in need of protection.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has found that prenuptial agreements have increased 73 percent in the last five years. Possible reasons for this increase include a difficult economy and marriages later in life. One particular reason that more and more people are considering the agreements is due to debt. Individuals want to protect themselves from any student or credit card debt that the other may acquire.

There are many benefits that a prenuptial agreement serves. It can document separate property, assign debt, reduce conflict in a later divorce, lower later court costs and establish rules for the future if they are necessary. Prenuptial agreements are not without cons. These agreements are not particularly romantic and may enter discussion at the wrong time in a relationship.

If considering a prenuptial agreement in the state of Massachusetts, discussing options with an experienced legal professional may provide the clarity that one needs to either move forward or hold off on making the contract.

Source: CBSNews, "Why a prenup may be right for you," Mellody Hobson, May 29, 2013