Given the statistics on the likelihood of divorce, many couples are opting to enter into pre-nuptial agreements to protect their rights in the event of a divorce. A pre-nuptial agreement is a private contract between the parties entered into prior to their marriage that outlines how assets and debts will be handled if the parties subsequently divorce. A post-nuptial agreement is a contract that can be entered into during the marriage. It may be contemplated in the context of temporary or long-term separation or just as a precaution to minimize litigation costs if there ever is a divorce. A standard agreement would provide that each party retains anything they acquire in their own name and that anything marital or acquired jointly will be divided based on the divorce laws or a mutually agreed upon percentage. An agreement may also provide for support to a spouse based on the number of years married or number of children produced. Alternatively, one spouse may be required to pay support as a punishment if they commit adultery during the marriage.
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