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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Should you consider a prenup?

Should you think about a divorce before you even get married? With statistics showing that about 40 percent of all marriages end in divorce, maybe it is not such a bad thing to prepare for the possibility of splitting up at the same time you are getting ready to walk down the aisle. Years ago, that idea would have seemed far-fetched in Massachusetts and elsewhere. But the simple truth is that more and more people are turning to prenuptial agreements to spell out what will happen in the event that happily ever after turns out to last less than a lifetime.

While a prenuptial agreement is not for everyone, the issues they typically address are the same issues that most people must confront when going through a divorce. Nationally, about 75 percent of divorce attorneys indicate that prenuptial agreements have become a greater part of their law practice over the past five years. The agreements have gained in popularity for a few reasons. Those entering a marriage with substantial assets usually understand the legal importance of entering into such an agreement. But those remarrying, particularly if they have children, also may be inclined to insist on a signed contract before saying "I do."

These types of contracts usually address issues such as division of marital assets, property division in general, as well as spousal support. Traditionally, those requiring a prenuptial agreement before marriage were thought of as selfish and lacking in trust. But the stigma that once attached to these written agreements has given way to a feeling that using one is a wise and forward-thinking decision.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the laws governing these agreements and their enforceability vary from state to state. Those Massachusetts residents who decide a prenuptial agreement is for them would do well to investigate all of the facts and circumstances in order to ensure the contract covers what is intended in a manner that will be able to be enforced if necessary.

Source: 10News.com, "Is a prenuptial agreement right for you?" Ed Greenberger, Feb. 11, 2012

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