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Thinking about marriage? Don’t forget the prenup

When you got married the first time, creating a prenuptial agreement was the furthest thing from your mind. You and your wife were fresh out of college and a marital agreement seemed pointless. When you divorced many years later, you could not help but wonder if a prenup would have made a difference in the outcome.

Now that you are thinking about going for round two, the last thing you want is to repeat your prior mistakes. That means that this time, you should take steps to protect your assets. While sitting down with your future fiancé to talk about what will happen if you split up does not sound like the best way to start off a marriage, it may actually provide you both with a sense of security.

If you were to divorce, the prenuptial agreement will lay out clear instructions on how the two of you will divide marital assets instead of relying on the decision of a Colorado judge. Read further to find out more about why everyone needs a prenuptial agreement.

They are cost effective

For only about half as much as the cost of the average engagement ring, you can invest in a tool that provides a measure of protection if you and your future wife decide to call it quits. While you may be tempted to go with a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) prenup, keep in mind that such contracts have legal requirements and if the contract does not meet the requirements, it is likely that the court will throw it out. For example, in order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, the contract must be fair, entered into without coercion or duress, and you each must have your own legal representation.

You can learn a lot about your partner

When you and your future wife sit down and start discussing the "what ifs" of divorce, you will probably learn things about each other that you did not previously know. You will have to discuss what will happen if you decide to have children. For example, will she no longer work full-time and stay home more to take care of the kids? If she gives up her career, what will she be entitled to walk away with if you divorce?

It's not too late if you already said "I do"

Fortunately, you can still enter into a marital agreement after the big day. You and your spouse can sign a post-nuptial agreement that functions in essentially the same way as prenup. The two of you may choose to do this if you anticipate a shift in finances or you plan to purchase a high-value asset.

If you are considering marriage, whether it is your first time, second time or beyond, it is important to put the proper tools in place to protect your interests. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement might be the answer you are looking for in case you end up going through the divorce process.

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