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4 signs you need a prenuptial agreement

The idea of creating a prenuptial agreement can be a little uncomfortable for people who are planning to spend the rest of their lives together. They might feel it is unnecessary or may not know how to broach the subject with their partners.

As a result, people often shy away from talking about a prenuptial agreement. However, there are some indications that having a prenup could be in your best interests such as the following scenarios:

  1. You own a business. If you own a business and you divorce, you could wind up running the business with an ex, having to buy out your ex or deciding to sell the business altogether. In such situations, not only could your assets be on the line, but so could the future of your business.
  2. You and your partner have disparate levels of wealth (or debt). If you divorce, marital assets are to be distributed equitably. This could mean taking on debt your partner accumulated or dividing pricey family heirlooms if they are or became marital property.
  3. You own (or expect to inherit) unusual property. Assets like art or coin collections, intellectual property rights or real estate investments can be worth much more in the future than they are today, but that is not certain. Protecting these unusual or difficult-to-value assets as separate property in a prenup can ensure the owner retains the property -- and its value -- in a divorce.
  4. One or both of you have specific wishes regarding spousal support. A prenup allows couples to come to an agreement that establishes, limits or eliminates spousal support. Often this is one of the more contentious aspects of a divorce, so resolving it before you even get married can make a potential difficult situation a little easier.

Under these circumstances, it can be critical to move beyond the discomfort or awkwardness of discussing a prenup with your partner to create a comprehensive, enforceable agreement. While you may never even need it, knowing a prenup is in place can give you peace of mind.

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