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4 common questions about prenuptial agreements

You're 35, you're about to get married, and you're thinking about a prenuptial agreement. You and your significant other don't have kids, but you have assets, and you want to protect them. However, since this is your first time thinking about prenups, you don't know as much as you think you should before signing a legally-binding document. Below are four common questions and answers to help you out.

1. Are they helpful even if you're not rich?

You're doing well for yourself, but you're not sitting on $50M that you're looking to protect. That's all right. The prenup can help with any level of assets. It simply gives both partners a better idea of where they'll stand financially after a divorce. No matter how much you have, that's going to be very important to you. It could be argued that it's more important for those with fewer assets.

2. Is there a lack of trust in the relationship?

If you're worried that even asking about a prenup means you don't trust each other enough to get married, don't be. A prenup just helps you plan. It's simply an acknowledgement that divorce is real and that marriage is a legal process, not just an emotional one. You may never use it, but it can help to have it in place just in case.

3. What should you include?

This differs from one couple to the next. Major assets are often included, like investments or homes. You may want to include a pet. Some couples have set stipulations regarding infidelity. What you put into the prenup is up to you, and you both can work together to customize it to fit your marriage and your lifestyle.

4. Can you ever change the prenup?

Maybe you anticipate the growth of your business and you think you'll have a lot more assets in five or 10 years. Don't worry about making the prenup now. You can always change it and update it as things progress. Again, you and your spouse can work together to do this so that you both know you'll get what you want. Some couples set deadlines on their prenups -- like saying it lasts for five years -- to force themselves to come back to them and update them in the future.

It's incredibly important to learn as much as you can about how a prenup works before you sign anything. It's a legal tool that you and your soon-to-be-spouse can use to protect yourselves and your future, and you want to know about all of the various options that it gives you. While not everyone will want to use a prenup, don't ignore it entirely without at least considering what it has to offer.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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