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A premarital agreement sets forth the rights and obligations of each spouse in the event of a divorce and may protect the intended inheritance of children from a previous relationship. These agreements are becoming increasingly used and, if drafted properly, are almost always enforced. Assets you bring into the marriage should remain in your sole name and not be combined with marital assets or earnings if you expect these assets to remain non-marital and so that, if they are intended to be distributed to your children under a Will upon your death, are not subject to the claims of a surviving spouse. Stated differently, if you have no premarital agreement and attempt to basically disinherit your surviving spouse under your Will in favor of your children from a previous relationship, your surviving spouse may attempt to renounce your Will and seek a statutory one-third (1/3) of your assets. [Note if you have no premarital agreement and you die without a Will, your surviving spouse would receive one-half (1/2) of all your assets if you have children, or all of your assets if you have no children.] In the event of a divorce, it can also be provided that each party pays his/her own attorney fees and/or that maintenance be limited (in amount or duration) or eliminated. Each party should have an attorney review the preparation of the premarital agreement; and all assets, debts and income should be fully disclosed in writing to better ensure enforceability of the agreement.

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