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Although Massachusetts couples who are planning to walk down the aisle are likely focused on love and companionship, the act of getting married ultimately creates a financial union as well. When divorces happen, they must disconnect the partners’ financial ties. Prenuptial agreements could support this process by preventing costly delays and disputes. Financial issues commonly addressed by these contracts often include student debt, business assets and income disparity between the prospective spouses.

A couple might specify how marital money will be directed toward the payment of one party’s student loan. In the event of a divorce, the money spent by one spouse toward the other’s loan might be returned in whole or part through by the divorce settlement as directed by the prenuptial agreement.

Business assets, even if they do not exist at the time of marriage, represent another issue frequently appearing in prenuptial agreements. A person could separate a business from the marital estate from the beginning or establish how the other partner will be compensated for business assets in a divorce. Some marriages involve one spouse giving up earning potential to raise children or move with a spouse who has a career opportunity. Because these choices reduce a person’s long-term income, a prenuptial agreement could place a value on the time given up to support a partner’s career.

Reasons like these are prompting people to seek prenuptial agreements in increasing numbers according to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. A person who wants to understand how the end of a marriage could impact finances and access to children could discuss these concerns with an attorney. If no prenuptial agreement exists, the attorney could assist in negotiating a comprehensive settlement that addresses the applicable issues.