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Family law: common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are one of the most misunderstood aspects of the marriage process. While they have received a bad reputation by the general public in the past, prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common in Connecticut. Although family law attorneys have seen an increase in the number of couples seeking a prenuptial agreement, there are still many common misconceptions about the valuable document.

Many people believe they don't have enough money to worry about needing a prenup; however, prenups are not just for the wealthy and aren't only about money. Prenuptial agreements can specify the details of many different aspects of a separation, including ownership of assets such as homes and pets, child support and alimony arrangements, and business ownership. While there are many things that can be included in a prenup, there are some things that should be avoided. A prenup should be thorough, balanced and fair to both parties, and should not have any unreasonable stipulations; otherwise, it may not hold up in court.

Couples often think it is okay to delay signing a prenuptial agreement until right before the wedding. This is not advisable. Coming to an agreement on the terms of a prenup can take some negotiating, and this is not something most couples should deal with right before saying their vows. Additionally, signing at the last minute can indicate one party was under duress or coerced to sign it, which can cause it to possibly not hold up in court later on.

Signing a prenup doesn't mean one is planning to get divorced down the road. Prenups are often beneficial for the marriage by settling many of the common issues that lead to divorce, including financial expectations. It also sparks communication and compromise between the couple, which are skills that will benefit the marriage.

Some people think they don't need an attorney to write a prenuptial agreement, but that can be a costly misconception. Family law attorneys know how prenups should be written, what can be included and how to make them valid according to Connecticut law. Simply showing that both parties are working with a law professional can validate the document in the eyes of the court.

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