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Experts disagree on the value of prenuptial agreements

No one starts the process of getting married with much of a thought to the process of getting divorced. But divorce is always likely enough to consider because the consequences of ignoring it are grave. Some lawyers recommend a prenuptial agreement to help guide expectations in that case, although some also have reservations about recommending it.

It is no secret that discussing prenuptial agreements can cause some tension during the already stressful phase between a proposal and a wedding. Spouses may feel offended by the implication they are not trusted. However, marriage is a contract between two people, and no one signs a contract without understanding what it means and how it may be violated.

In its simplest form, a prenuptial agreement lists the property and assets owned by the individuals preparing to marry as well as each party's rights to these assets in the case of separation. One of the main advantages of this agreement is the chance to completely inventory each person's possessions before bank accounts, property ownership and other claims are merged.

But prenuptial agreements do not necessarily make the divorce process shorter or cheaper. One of the more efficient ways to deal with a divorce is for both spouses to agree to mediation in an attempt to avoid a long court battle.

An attorney can represent a spouse's interests through mediation, negotiations or court appearances if required by circumstances. A lawyer may also be able to review prenuptial agreements for their applicability to divorce proceedings and provide counsel during the sensitive time between separation and divorce.

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