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Premarital Agreements in Arizona - Are you planning for divorce?

A Premarital Agreement is not a plan for divorce in my opinion. One of the biggest reasons for divorce are financial issues. A premarital or postmarital agreement can address all or some of these issues, thus leaving limited or no issues for dispute.

Although not all people getting married need a premarital agreement, it is a good idea to look into your options and educate yourself prior to getting married. A premarital agreement addresses what happens financially in the event of a divorce as opposed to leaving it up to complex and sometimes ambiguous legal principles which the bride and groom may have no idea about when they are married.

What happens if you do not have a premarital agreement? Once you are married, you have essentially entered into a financial agreement without knowing what it is - i.e. years and years of statutes and Arizona case decisions supposedly tell us how assets and debts are to be divided upon divorce. The problem is that such case decisions are often confusing, inconsistent with one another, and provide layers and layers of exceptions and arguments that can be made. Such can lead to very expensive litigation in the event of divorce.

A premarital agreement may not be important for two people that are getting married in their early 20s, have no children from prior marriages or relations, have not already started a business, and are essentially starting from ground zero together. However, for people who have an established business, pre-marriage sole and separate property, have children from prior marriages and other circumstances, a premarital agreement may make a great deal of sense.

A premarital agreement should not be viewed as a plan for a divorce. Rather, such makes good common sense. By entering into a premarital agreement, you are merely deciding up front what makes sense to you financially in the event of divorce as opposed to leaving things up to the Courts. A premarital agreement places perspective on people's existing financial situations going into the marriage, and ensures that if a divorce does take place, that the finances are addressed fairly based upon what the parties decide makes sense at the time they are married. By doing so, and if the parties do later divorce, such divorce can be much simpler and much less expensive.

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