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Talking property distribution need not wait until divorce

Marriage is the beginning of an exciting adventure undertaken by two people in New Jersey with the usual intention of remaining together for life. Although the divorce rate is believed to be declining, the possibility does exist. While no one wants to begin a marriage worrying that a divorce may result, there are steps that can be taken to protect oneself in the event of property distribution that may happen down the road. These steps can also promote openness and honesty regarding property and finances. Financial disagreements can cause issues that may lead to a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements are seen by some as evidence that one party doesn't trust the other. In reality, the agreements may be able to reinforce that trust as each person's finances will be fully disclosed in the process. A prenup can also be looked at as a will of sorts. It determines how property will be handled in the event of the death of the marriage.

In addition to a prenup, joint accounts should have both names, and both parties should have equal access to the accounts. This includes credit cards, bank accounts and investment accounts. Even if a person's name is on an account, if the person is not named by the primary account holder as having equal access to the account, he or she may not have access to any information regarding it. It is also a good idea for parties to maintain one or two accounts separately as individual accounts. This allows each person to establish independent credit histories.

People in New Jersey who are contemplating marriage and a prenuptial agreement should consult with an experienced family law attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can review a couple's financial situation and advise them on actions that can be taken to protect assets in the event of property distribution at a future time. Though it may be an awkward conversation, it can promote an open and honest beginning to a new marriage.

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