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Marriage, divorce, money and prenuptial agreements in Maryland

Talking about money might not be as fun as discussing the songs you will dance to at your wedding or the exotic locale of your honeymoon, but it can be one of the most significant pre-wedding plans you will make.

Studies show finances are one of the issues married couples argue about the most. Not surprisingly, arguments about finances can be a leading cause of divorce.

More and more Maryland couples are signing prenuptial marriage agreements before they marry. They recognize the practicality of signing and notarizing a contract that outlines how finances will be handled after the end of their relationship. While not a romantic conversation, it can be a positive step down the road to life they take together.

If you are considering having a prenuptial agreement, it is important to discuss finances early in the relationship. No one wants to be surprised afterwards. Be honest and open. Don't hide feelings, assets, or bad credit. Hire different advisors so both parties have unbiased representation. Ask them for affidavits and keep these with the prenuptial agreement.

Drawing up a prenuptial does not imply you are getting a divorce. Prenuptials don't have to be viewed as unromantic. They show unmitigated trust between the partners and remove resentments or confusions. They do not imply there is a lack of commitment but rather indicates there is a dedication to keep things fair in unforeseen events.

In Maryland as well as other states, divorce rates are continuously rising, and couples contemplating marriage face more stress to protect themselves and their commitment to each other. Maryland is not a community property state but laws dictate that upon a divorce, the policy of dividing assets on an equitable distribution basis would take effect.

If you are thinking about getting married and want to protect your existing assets against the possibility of divorce, a prenuptial agreement may be the right solution. It is in your best interest to consult with a person who is experienced in these matters so you can focus on exploring the best years of your relationship with your partner.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Money Issues to Discuss Before the Wedding Day" Chris Easter, Mar. 11, 2014

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