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Is a prenuptial agreement right for you?

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular in the United States, leaving many engaged couples to wonder if they need a prenuptial agreement. Before taking the plunge, it is important to consider if you and your future spouse would benefit from a prenup. To understand if a prenup is right for you, you should first become familiar with what a prenuptial agreement is and what is included in an agreement. 

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that creates terms for what will happen to the couple's assets, debts and address other issues in the event of divorce. A prenuptial agreement can help both spouses protect their assets as well as any business interests and children from a previous relationship. 

While prenups are typically associated with wealthy individuals, many couples may benefit from having a prenup before they get married. The prenup will include terms that both soon-to-be spouses agree to. What terms can be included in a prenuptial agreement?

Prenups usually address dividing assets, debts, property and business interests. They can also address spousal support in the event alimony would like to be waived in the event of divorce. Prenups can be beneficial for individuals and couples who have a significant amount of assets but they can also be helpful if one or both individuals have debt. Prenups can address how these assets and debts will be divided if the couple gets divorced, which can help reduce tension and conflict during divorce proceedings. Prenups cannot include terms regarding child custody or child support. They also cannot include terms about a person's appearance or habits like weight restrictions or smoking. 

Individuals thinking about signing a prenuptial agreement should give themselves plenty of time to review the terms and make sure they understand the impact it will have in the future if they ever get divorced. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "Unpacking Prenuptial Agreements," Caroline Choi, Jan. 31, 2014

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