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Protecting your valuable baggage

Penni Pappas looks at the benefits of signing a pre-nup

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08 August 2011

With people choosing to tie the knot later in life, most of them have baggage. And unlike your expected baggage to be past relationships, I mean assets.

People are more independent and security driven and with high salaries, accountants and loans at our fingertips, it's easier to buy your own home yourself. Signing a pre-nuptial (pre-nup) agreement nowadays isn't just for the stars or the millionaires, it can ensure your safety should the marriage falter. And it's almost a necessity if you have assets.

"If there are doubts my advice is always to err on the side of caution that prevention is always better than cure. Meaning, it's always better to have one rather to not have one at all, particularly if there are assets that might be vulnerable or assets that might be accumulated prior to the partner coming on the scene and or assets expected to be coming in," laywer John Velos told Neos Kosmos.

"They provide for the eventuality of separation and provides for a property settlement between parties and distribution of assets accumulated together during the period of the marriage or cohabitation," said Velos. If you are expecting to come into money, either an inheritance, family trusts, superannuation or any other funds, a pre-nup can protect those assets too. They can also protect you against what you have but what you and your partner accumulate together within the marriage as there could be some income and financial resources.

"Pre-nuptial agreements also provide for children that may come on the scene such as residency, contact with parents sharing of holidays, religious instruction, education, and a variety of other lifestyle issues they may consider important to put into the agreement," said Velos. "There are so many different cultures in Australia and traditions and we shouldn't assume there will always be agreements on even fundamental things like what school they will go to."

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