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Four things you might not know about prenuptial agreements

Many people never give prenuptial agreements much thought until they make plans to get married, and even then they are often overlooked or misunderstood. Learning more about this valuable legal tool can help you avoid missing out on its many benefits.

It's about more than planning for divorce

In the past, prenuptial agreements carried a certain amount of social stigma because they were thought to show a lack of confidence in the relationship. Today, however, prenuptial agreements are more widely accepted and understood as doing more than just planning for divorce.

In addition to simplifying the divorce process if it should ever come to that, a prenup can also serve as a financial blueprint for a successful marriage. Creating a prenuptial agreement can help you and your spouse clarify your financial goals and protect one another's long-term financial interests.

They aren't just for the wealthy

A common misconception about prenuptial agreements is that they are only for highly affluent couples or those with a wide disparity in wealth. However, even if your income is relatively modest, there are several other factors that can make a prenup worth considering. For example, a prenuptial agreement may be advisable if either you or your spouse:

  • Leaves the workforce to go back to school or raise kids
  • Has children from another relationship
  • Owes significant debts
  • May receive a substantial inheritance or other increase in wealth
  • Needs to protect family heirlooms or business interests

Married without a prenup? It's not too late

If you married without a prenup and are now thinking better of it, you may want to consider a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenup except that it is created after marriage rather than before. Although not every state recognizes postnuptial agreements, Colorado does.

Doing it yourself can be a costly mistake

It can be tempting to try to cut costs by creating your own marital agreement without an attorney's help, but there is a lot that can go wrong and even a seemingly minor error could end up being far more expensive in the long run. After all, a prenuptial agreement is a complex legal document with far-reaching implications. It requires professional training and skill to make sure the agreement accounts for all relevant factors and will function as intended if it ever becomes necessary to enforce it in court.

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