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Four reasons to think about a prenuptial agreement

When you are in the throes of romance and planning a wedding, the last thing on your mind may be a prenuptial agreement. However, such agreements do make sense in many cases. See if any of the reasons below resonate with you.

1. You want to be certain that someone gets a specific asset

Suppose you have a cherished heirloom, or to think on a bigger scale, a house or piece of property that you want to go to someone not your spouse. The person could be a sibling, cousin, niece, nephew, friend or someone else. A prenuptial agreement ensures that the asset will stay with you in the case of a divorce, and you can pass it on when the time comes.

2. You are older

People are getting married later in life, sometimes for the first time, and sometimes for the second, third or even fourth times. In any case, people are bringing more considerations with them into marriage. Children from a prior relationship or marriage, property, businesses and even pets are all entities you may want to make sure are taken care of.

3. There will be income inequalities

Suppose one of you plans to be a stay-at-home parent or has a job that pays significantly less than what the other person makes. If you are the person on the smaller-income side of the equation, what happens if you get divorced? You could hope that your spouse and/or the courts are fair. That is a lot to gamble on, though. Setting up a prenuptial agreement greatly increases the odds that you will be financially okay no matter what happens. In fact, having this knowledge gives many people even more peace of mind, and they are able to enter into their marriages with less stress and worry.

4. Your spouse-to-be has money problems

Another reason to get a prenuptial agreement is if you know that your spouse-to-be has money problems. Perhaps he or she is hugely in debt, for instance, or you have wildly varying financial philosophies. An agreement can do many things, depending on your goals. It may absolve you of any responsibility from having to pay off debts on a joint account opened by your spouse, or it may cap the amount you are obligated to pay.

Considerations in a prenuptial agreement include how long it lasts and which assets to include. An attorney can help you through the process and craft an agreement that should hold up to a court challenge.

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