Few Maryland couples want to even entertain the idea that their marriage might not work out when they’re still in the ‘honeymoon’ phase of a relationship. The reality, however, is that some marriages will end in divorce even when both partners enter into the nuptials with the best of intentions. One way that spouses can help make sure they’re both protected is by negotiating a prenuptial agreement ahead of time. Not only can this provide financial protection in the event of a divorce, it can also help the couple discuss issues that are often the most common culprits for leading to a marital breakup.

Finances are one such issue that many individuals don’t even discuss in depth before they marry, that can later lead to marital disharmony. Take for instance if one of the spouses has a business that they start not too long before marrying. A prenuptial agreement can help the spouse who owns the business make sure their company’s assets can be protected in the event that a divorce later occurs. This can also allow the other spouse to discuss their own concerns with what should be considered a fair division of assets later if that partner contributes significantly to the other spouse’s business earnings.

Debt is another huge concern that many married couples face, and can often itself lead to a decision to divorce. Prenuptial agreements can be drafted in a way to ensure that one spouse’s debts do not become the liability of the other. It can also designate which of the spouses will be responsible for any shared debt after a possible divorce.

One more way prenuptial agreements can benefit Maryland couples considering marriage is by making financial provisions to protect any children from prior relationships. Spouses who want to make sure such children receive benefits from life insurance policies, retirement accounts and the like after their death need to make provisions up front. Otherwise, the surviving spouse might inherit assets like these as a matter of course. Taking steps ahead of time can make sure that no balls are dropped in the unfortunate event of a divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, ” Prenups: Not Just For The Wealthy,” Jason Marks, April 25, 2013