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Prenuptial agreements no longer just for New Jersey's rich

It can be an uncomfortable conversation to have amidst the happy planning for that big wedding day. However, for brides- and grooms-to-be, the criterion for considering a prenuptial agreement is no longer just being rich.

A jump in agreements between 2005 and 2010 has been noted by more than 70 percent of attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. One reason for this rise is that so many people remarry or choose to marry at an older age. They are more established in life, and asset protection at any level of value becomes more important in the event of divorce .

In New Jersey and all states, jurisdictional laws apply to property division or any support dispute between spouses at the end of a marriage unless a prenuptial agreement is in place. Dealing with the business end of an emotional situation before one exists allows for clear-headed decisions, unlike the situation in which Bruce and Kris Jenner find themselves.

The famous couple recently made public their split and reportedly do not have a prenuptial agreement. Their estimated $125 million empire will likely be the center of a lengthy battle over marital property - a battle that could have been avoided if their obligations had been defined before marriage. According to some professionals with children from previous marriages and amassed fortunes like the Kardashian enterprise, not having the protection from such an agreement is a mistake.

Prenuptial protections are not just for the rich. Although important for those with great wealth or property, the value of protection to couples in second or third marriages can be important. Even someone pursuing a career in a potentially lucrative field might find value in a prenuptial that protects them against future financial losses due to divorce.

People beginning their lives together in love are hesitant to discuss legal issues related to divorce. Being able to discuss, communicate and work out the realities of life with your spouse-to-be can actually provide comfort and security to the union.

Source: NYDailyNews.com, "Learn from the Kardashians' mistakes: time to brush up on prenups" Phyllis Furman, Oct. 14, 2013

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