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What are prenuptial agreements used for in Tennessee?

People in Tennessee generally marry for love, and are not worried about who has what property. However, when people marry they are also entering into an unwritten contract that everything that either one earns or acquires during the marriage becomes the property of both spouses regardless of which spouse actually earned or acquired the property. So, if the couple ends up divorcing each one would be entitled to an equitable portion of the marital property.

There is a way people can avoid entering into this unwritten contract though. The couple could enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, which can control a divorce. There are a number of aspects of the marriage that the couple can control through a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement can determine which property will be considered non-marital property and which property will be considered marital. A prenuptial agreement can also the protect one spouse from debt that the other spouse brings into the marriage. A person can also keep control over their estate plans and family heirlooms in a prenuptial agreement.

These agreements can also dictate how the couple will handle their finances throughout the marriage. This can include agreements on how the couple will use joint accounts, how retirement benefits will be accrued and used, management of the bills and monthly expenses, how much the couple will save, handle school tuition and loans and other financial aspects of the marriage. They even dictate how the couple will file taxes and which deductions they will take.

Most people in Tennessee do not enter into a marriage thinking that they will get divorced. However, divorce is becoming more and more common, and people understand it could happen to them. That is why in certain situations, a prenuptial agreement may be a good idea in order to protect assets both during the marriage and through a divorce.

Source: FindLaw, “What can and cannot be included in a Prenuptial Agreement” accessed Oct. 2, 2017

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