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On prenups and premarital planning

The phrase "prenuptial agreement" brings up immediate negative connotations in the minds of many people out there. The prenup definitely has a reputation, but sometimes reputations aren't fully deserved. In the case of the prenup, while it was branded as an "anti-love" contract that portended divorce more than it protected marriage, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Instead of calling it a prenup, think of the contract as "premarital planning." That sounds much better, doesn't it? And it is also true. A prenup bring two soon-to-be-spouses together and allows them to have difficult, but important, conversations about their life, their assets, and the way they see their marriage moving forward. Without considering a prenup, some of these discussions may not go as deep as they should -- or they may not be had at all.

Prenuptial agreements can cover a lot of legal bases. They can insulate you from your spouse's debts. They can protect your estate plan or any family business you may have. They can draw the lines for how a divorce will proceed (should you need one in the future) and outline how property division works. Prenuptial agreements are flexible, unique contracts that can fit a wide array of relationships and needs.

Even if you don't get a prenup before your wedding, there is always the option to pursue a postnuptial agreement -- which functions in practically the same way as a prenup -- after you have walked down the aisle. Prenups can really help couples with their divorce, but they can also help with their marriage too.

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