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Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

Negative stereotypes regarding prenuptial agreements lurk around every corner. Popular media often portrays these important planning documents as the tools of self-serving, un-romantic individuals who are betting on the losing end of their marriage.

In actuality, couples from every walk of life in South Carolina use prenuptial agreements as they are intended — to protect their personal assets in the upsetting event that their marriage does not stand the test of time.

I don’t have much, do I really need a prenup?

Going into marriage, your personal property is just that — personal. But what happens when you deposit an inheritance in a joint bank account or your spouse joins your once-solo business venture? It is possible for personal assets to become marital property once you commingle them. This could be something as big as a business you started or a vehicle you started driving back in college.

You can also avoid potential pitfalls or conflict by outlining your expectations. A prenup can wave spousal support, protect future business income and determine who gets what if the marriage ends.

Kids benefit from prenups too

If you have children from a previous relationship, you need to protect their interests. Prenups are a great tool for prioritizing your children and their well-being by ensuring that your personal property remains that way in the event of a divorce. This means that your children can continue to benefit from your finances rather than your ex-spouse.

However, there are some matters that you cannot use a prenuptial agreement to address. You cannot limit child support, custody or visitation. Determining these matters before a divorce would not be representative of your financial situation, that of your ex or the best interests of your children.

Divorce is always a possibility — protect yourself

No one says, “I do” with the intention of ending the marriage a few years down the road, but divorce still happens every day in South Carolina. Whether you are going into a marriage with significant assets or more moderate means, it is always in your best interests to protect yourself.

Family law can be complicated, though, and it is important to understand how it may affect the validity of your prenuptial agreement. An experienced lawyer can usually provide the necessary guidance for creating, refining and signing these important documents.

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