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What are some things to include in a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is sometimes looked at with disdain, but the truth is that this is an important document that can save you time and money if you ever go through a divorce. A prenuptial agreement has many important pieces of information listed inside. For instance, it may state all your premarital assets and debts, so you can identify them easily upon divorce.

Another thing that is listed in many prenuptial agreements is the arrangement for assets you'll combine upon marriage. For example, if you plan to combine your bank accounts or student loans by consolidating them, you'd list that information in the prenuptial agreement as well.

A prenuptial agreement can also address fiscal and non-fiscal commitments to each other. For example, if the family chooses to have or adopt children, who has to work, who stays at home and what kinds of arrangements are made for the security of the family? Some people like to work out these important questions early in a prenuptial agreement. Then, if someone doesn't follow through, the courts can actually step in and create an order to participate in the required tasks if the prenuptial agreement was created fairly.

It's also a good idea to include clauses about what you do if someone does something offensive enough to end the marriage. Called blemishes, these actions can be faulted for a separation. You might include adultery, drug or alcohol abuse or other faults you do not want to see in your marriage. If either party violates the prenuptial agreement, what happens next will be clearly listed for the court to see.

If you're ready to create a prenuptial agreement, your attorney can help. These are documents that protect you and your spouse, so it's a good idea to create them well before you're married.

Source: Marriage.com, "Prenuptial Agreement Checklist," accessed June 13, 2017

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