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Do I Need A Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a contract negotiated and signed by a couple prior to their marriage. It is recommended that a couple have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in situations where one or both have children from prior marriages and/or one party has substantially more assets than the other. 

Pre-Nuptial Agreements usually address what will happen in the event of a divorce (such as alimony, division of retirement benefits and other assets and liabilities), as well as what happens in the event of death (how the decedent's estate will be divided, life insurance, and payment of certain expenses for the surviving spouse).

When negotiating Pre-Nuptial Agreements, it is essential that a full and truthful disclosure of assets and liabilities be made by each party; that the Agreement be entered into voluntarily; and that each party have independent legal counsel during negotiation of the Agreement.


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Maryland law requires equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The court determines a fair award of property and debt. Unless the couple can reach a settlement, the court divides the marital property, pension, retirement, profit sharing or deferred-compensation plans. The court considers contributions of each party, the well being of the family, the property value, the economic circumstances of each spouse as well as current situations such as age, mental state, the duration of the marriage, and the interest each party has in the property.
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