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Prenups: Despite a few extreme examples, a solid planning tool

An increasing number of people across the country, including in Georgia, have a much clearer notion these days than in previous years of what a carefully considered and drafted premarital contract can do.

Foremost, a prenuptial agreement can be a highly suitable and effective planning tool for the future. It can go far toward reducing pre-marriage anxieties concerning a number of things, ranging from the division of assets to the rights of children from a previous marriage in the event of a divorce down the road.

Of course, prenups continue to be viewed occasionally as a bit unusual and even extreme when it comes to certain marriages involving celebrity and extremely wealthy partnerships. Even when such factors are in play, though, the device continues to be what it essentially always is, notwithstanding that the magnitude of an outcome -- read Spielberg, Trump, Cruise, etc.-- might seem a bit outsized to the "common" person.

Still, many readers glory in the unusual and extreme, and many legal professionals who have worked on prenups with well-heeled clients have tales at the ready concerning eccentricities.

One relates the demand of a client that the premarital agreement acknowledge her right to payment for sex during the marriage. Another stipulated, "No piano playing while husband is home." Some prenups contain penalty provisions mandating a cash payment from a partner if he or she is caught cheating. Others contain so-called "lifestyle" clauses that can cover things ranging from a partner's weight gain to what happens in the event of a pregnancy.

Mostly, though, and despite the occasional extreme provision in a prenuptial contract, most such agreements that are openly discussed and then soundly drafted by an experienced family law attorney do exactly what they are intended to do: They provide for assurance and predictably, and discussing them in itself goes far toward identifying what is important to a couple as they enter marriage.

Source: New York Post, "New York's craziest prenups," Doree Lewak, Sept. 25, 2012

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