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Fred Silberberg

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10 Reasons Why It is Important to Have a Prenuptial or Cohabitation Agreement

Posted: 03/30/11 03:49 PM ET

While not the most romantic of topics, prenuptial and cohabitation agreements have become increasingly important for couples planning to marry or live together. No longer only for the rich and famous, prenuptial agreements provide significant benefits for any couple--both for the financial well-being of the individuals and overall well-being of the relationship.

And with the current trend toward cohabitation and away from marriage, cohabitation agreements have become even more important. The common thinking is that cohabitation, rather than marriage, keeps things more simple--especially in the event of a divorce. But the truth is that these types of arrangements still bring about serious legal consequences: property issues, the risk of palimony lawsuits, or custody and child support issues. It is important to consider all of these consequences, and do what planning you can to avoid complications in advance of living together, whether the relationship turns into a marriage or not.

Writing A Prenup Will Help You Learn About Each Other
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The discussion of such an agreement often enables both parties to learn key things about the other: Each other's view of money, knowledge about each other's assets and debts, and money management skills. So often therapists and family law attorneys encounter people who are in a bad situation because they didn't know what they needed to know about the other person. People caught up in the romance aspects of the relationship, or who get busy with daily life, often fail to have discussions about money. Disputes over money are one of the most frequent causes of break-ups. Putting the information on the table before making a long-term commitment helps people become educated about their future partners, how they handle financial issues, and can lead to an open discussion about how to address these issues before the relationship progresses and one person realizes that they cannot handle how the other person deals with money.
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