Prenups aren’t only for the rich and famous

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Family Law on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reality TV personality Kim Kardashian isn’t typically thought of as a role model setting a good example for others to follow. But recent media reports that she’s working on a prenuptial agreement with her fiancé could change perceptions of her. She’s actually doing the smart thing.

As CNN financial consultant Janice Revell states in a recent column, prenups are for everyone these days, rather than just the rich and famous.

Nearly 75 percent of family law attorneys surveyed last year by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said they’ve seen a substantial increase in prenuptial agreements over the past several years.

The agreements are legal contracts that lay out the division of a married couple’s assets upon divorce. The agreements are especially useful for people who have been in a previous marriage or if they have children from a prior relationship — or, of course, if they have substantial assets.

With a prenuptial agreement, you have settled one of the main points of contention in divorce: the division of property.

Many people respond with a laugh that they’re not planning on getting divorced. Of course you don’t get married counting on getting divorced, but look at the statistics and you’ll quickly see why prenups can spare a lot of grief: about half of all first marriages end in divorce. And for those who marry again, the divorce rate goes up from there.

What constitutes a valid marital agreement in Missouri? In order to reduce the likelihood of a successful challenge to a prenup, the agreement should have the following elements:

  • It should contain full disclosure by both parties of their financial status, include income and all assets.
  • It can’t be a coerced agreement.
  • The two parties should be represented by separate family law attorneys.

Source: CNN: “Getting married? Get a prenup”: by Janice Revell: June 29, 2011

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