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Four important factors regarding prenuptial agreements

In the build-up to your wedding day, there are so many things buzzing around in your head. So many hopes to strive towards; so many dreams realized; and let's not forget the happiness each spouse is feeling as they walk up the aisle. Given this context, it is no wonder that past generations balked at a prenuptial agreement. The contract was in stark contrast to the occasion. It made you think about the ramifications of a divorce before the wedding even happened.

However, times have changed, and prenuptial agreements are vital documents now. Signing one before your wedding day can result in far fewer headaches down the line (should a divorce occur). So what do you need to know before signing a prenup? Here are four important factors:

  • Wealth should not be the determining factor for signing. Some Houston residents may think prenuptial agreements are only for those who have lots of money and plenty of assets. While the contract can protect more things for wealthier couples, any couple can and should get a prenuptial agreement.
  • It may cost money, but having a lawyer draft the prenup is crucial. Drafting a prenup on your own is fraught with dangers, including the possibility that the state may not recognize the prenup if a lawyer has not composed the document.
  • A prenup can include almost anything, except child custody guidelines. The contract can govern how infidelity is dealt with; how pet custody is determined; how debts are divided; and any special accommodations the spouses want recognized.
  • Alterations to a prenup can be made... but both spouses need to approve the alterations. One possibility is for a prenup to include an expiration date -- and once that date is reached, the couple can create a new one if they want.

Source: LearnVest, "9 Questions You Want To Know But Are Too Afraid To Ask About Prenups," Alden Wicker, July 2, 2013

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