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Getting married without embracing a spouse's debt

Michigan couples who consider their financial positions prior to marriage could spare themselves turmoil in the future. A prenuptial agreement serves as a legal tool for two people to make declarations concerning the division of property and debt in the event of a divorce.

When negotiating the terms of a prenuptial agreement, both people should have independent legal representatives. The parties will consider issues such as student loans and credit card balances, and some or all of these debts might be designated as premarital and remain the responsibility of the individual who borrowed the money. Creditors, however, might come after a spouse for payment of the other spouse's debt, but a valid prenuptial agreement could enable the person to seek reimbursement from the other spouse. When financial concerns arise during the marriage, a couple could consider creating a postnuptial agreement. These contracts tend to attract greater scrutiny in court than a prenuptial contract, but they can address the assignment of debts, especially if one spouse is racking up bills recklessly or borrowing heavily to run a business. These agreements lay out who bears responsibility for paying each obligation.

These privately created agreements allow couples to control the division of property if they divorce instead of leaving themselves exposed to the rulings of a family court. Oakland County prenuptial agreement lawyers could offer a client insights into legal options for the protection of assets during and after marriage. Such a lawyer could guide the client toward terms that represent an equitable division of marital assets while insulating the client from other debts.

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