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What should be addressed in your prenuptial agreement?

Most family law attorneys recommend that couples get a prenuptial agreement before they wed. Not only does it help determine what belongs to whom should they split up. It helps facilitate a discussion about financial goals and plans.

The details of a prenup will be unique to each couple, but there are a variety of questions that may need to be addressed. Prenups need to be discussed carefully. No one should ever just sign a prenup that's presented to them.

It's best if both people have their own attorneys when negotiating a prenup. This may not seem very romantic, but remember that this is a legal document and both people's interests need to be protected.

One important aspect of a prenup is the assets that you're bringing into a marriage. Generally, those aren't considered marital property. However, if they increase in value throughout the marriage, your spouse could seek a portion of that increase in value. It's best to stipulate how those will be handled in the event of a divorce.

If you have children from a previous relationship or other family members to whom you want to leave money or other assets when you pass away, you should address that in your prenup as well. Of course, you should also have an estate plan that stipulates your wishes. Remember to update your estate plan when you marry and should you divorce.

If the two people have significant differences in income, you may want to stipulate in the prenup how your living expenses will be divided. This is par if one of you is going to take time out of the workforce to continue his or her education or raise the children.

Your New York family law attorney can help you determine what issues need to be addressed in your prenup, in part based on state laws. Once this important piece of business is completed, you can get on with the wedding planning.

Source: Forbes, "5 Things To Keep In Mind When Negotiating A Prenup," Ginger Dean, April 04, 2016

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