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What is it like to divorce with a prenuptial agreement?

Ending a marriage is not always an easy and painless experience. Oftentimes it is one of the hardest moments in a person’s life, even when you have a prenuptial agreement. A prenup may have been signed with the awareness of the reality of divorce. However, it doesn’t make it any easier emotionally. In fact, you may have regrets over the prenup or have felt pressured into signing one at the time it was presented.

Nevertheless, if you are divorcing and have a prenup, the divorce process will be different than traditional divorces. The beauty of the prenup is that it can eliminate conflict in areas related to marital assets and spousal support. The legal document signed pre- marital vows may also outline what is expected when one of the spouse incurs debt. Divorces without such specifications often lead to bitter trials that are highly contested, exhausting both time and resources.

Overall, the divorce process is simplified when a prenup is present. Attorneys will have less work to do in terms of discovery and courtroom analysis. Potential legal fees are reduced and the entire process is shortened due to the pre-agreed upon terms of the prenup. However, sometimes divorces with prenups become complicated and difficult. Problems may arise when the validity of the prenup is questioned. When you or your spouse seeks the court to verify the terms of the prenup, a judge is forced to examine the circumstances that existed at the time of the signing.

In addition, the attorneys working on the divorce will have double-duty responsibility when a prenup is questioned. This means that not only will facts be sought during the marriage but before the marriage also, in terms of how the couple was led to sign a prenup and their understanding of its agreement prior to signing. Questioning the validity of the prenup agreement will likely prolong the divorce process and drive up the amount of fees involved. It is always best to have a clear understanding of a prenup first and keep records of your state of mind and the interactions you have prior to signing. It just might affect your future divorce.

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Jay S. Baum Attorney at Law
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