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Don't Dismiss Getting a Prenup Until You Know the Facts

Unless you're a celebrity or a millionaire, most couples don't consider getting a prenup before the wedding. But that may because they don't know all the facts about prenups.

If everything you know about prenuptial agreements comes from reading the news, you probably think their only function is to kick in during divorce. But for most couples a prenup can be very useful during a marriage.

Is a prenup right for you? The answer is probably yes, but below we've listed some facts about prenups so you can make your own decisions.

  • It's mostly about money. If you thought a prenup was about money you were right, but it's not usually about keeping money from your spouse. Most of what's in a prenup specifies what assets will be jointly owned and which will be owned by only one spouse rather than leaving it up to state law. It can also specify each spouse's financial responsibilities during the marriage. That allows you to protect your spouse from your debt, provide for children from a previous marriage, and avoid fights about money down the road.

  • There are limits to what it can do. A prenup agreement can specify how money is divided but there are certain subjects it can't touch. Specifics about child support and custody for a couple's children, rules about personal matters (like sex), and anything that encourages divorce are not permitted in a prenup. Even if a couple does include clauses related to those topics, those portions of the prenup would likely be held invalid by a court.

  • It won't ruin your relationship. There's nothing about the prenup itself that suggests divorce even though people think it does. It's true that talking about money isn't as romantic as tasting wedding cakes or sending out invitations, but it's no less important for your relationship. Finances are a big source of stress for many couples and by talking about them at the start of your marriage you may able to save yourself from potential problems later on.

Still unsure about whether a prenup is right for you and your fiance? Ask a question on our FindLaw Answers Marriage and Divorce Forum so you can get some opinions from our community of online contributors.

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