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Prenuptial agreements: tips for same-sex couples

Couples who have been living together for years may begin to think about marriage for a variety of reasons. Because same-sex couples were not legally allowed to marry in Michigan for so long, they are particularly likely to have established a household together before tying the knot. The Huffington Post points out that if a couple does not discuss the assets brought to the relationship in the early years, and those accumulated since, dividing property in the divorce may be especially challenging.

USA Today also recognizes the difficulties unique to this type of situation, and notes that a prenuptial agreement may solve many of the problems. The discussion may seem like an unpleasant way to prepare for marriage. However, viewing the document as a tool similar to an estate plan or a will rather than preparation for divorce may ease the emotional strain a fiancé may feel when the topic is introduced. As the negativity toward these agreements wanes among the general public, those who have significant assets may find their partners more neutral or even positive about the conversation. Regardless of the potential for conflict, though, the subject should not be avoided.

Same-sex couples with children have even more reason to address the problems they may encounter in a divorce before they marry. The document should include an agreement about how custody will be divided, which may be the only legal connection the non-biological parent has to the child he or she has helped to raise. When the issues are resolved while the relationship is on solid ground, both parents may be less likely to want to prevent the other from contacting the child in the event of a separation, a move that often causes the child as much pain as the estranged parent.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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