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Ordinary couples may benefit from prenuptial agreements

Most California couples don't have high-profile celebrity marriages like the Jenners, but that doesn't mean they can't benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian Jenner recently announced their separation. The couple reportedly does not have a prenup, which could present big problems when splitting their $125 million in assets should they decide to divorce later.

Prenuptial agreements don't seem very romantic, especially to couples who think they'll never divorce, but having one can make any divorce easier or less complicated. Couples may not have a lot of assets when they marry, but many assets can be acquired in marriage that can cause a bigger rift as couples fight over how to divide them. Older couples may have more assets than their younger counterparts, plus they may have children from previous relationships who need to be protected.

Prenuptial agreements are binding documents setting out how assets will be divided if the spouses later divorce or one dies. In the past, they were used when one spouse was wealthier than the other, but today more ordinary couples are using them, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. More than 70 percent of member attorneys say the number of prenuptial agreements they're writing is on the rise.

A prenuptial agreement protects both spouses should something go wrong in a marriage. Divorces or deaths of a spouse are emotional, traumatic times. A prenup can help in cutting down on this stress. A divorce or family law attorney may be able to assist in writing up a prenuptial agreement that is fair to the parties involved.

Source: NY Daily News, "Learn from the Kardashians' mistakes: time to brush up on prenups", Phyllis Furman, October 14, 2013

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