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Before entering a prenuptial agreement, consider these issues

It used to be that prenuptial agreements had an ugly connotation that would make a potentially married couple reconsider their relationship. Now, many Minnesota couples enter into a prenuptial agreement and, if they get into a divorce, most are glad they did. Since a prenuptial agreement is an alteration to the basic laws pertaining to marriage and divorce, it allows a splitting couple to make their own choices and personalize how their marital assets are decided.

So who should consider getting a prenuptial agreement? First, the older you are, the more important it is to have a prenup. It is likely you have most property and assets, and, in case your marriage does not last, you want those things to be secure. In addition, if there is a disparity in assets between you and your spouse, a prenuptial agreement is very helpful.

Another matter to consider is if you have children from a previous relationship. If you do, a prenuptial agreement can delegate some of your assets to them and protect your children from losing control of your estate.

What about the actual content of the prenuptial agreement? You certainly want to discuss any communal property you and your spouse share, as well as any property you individually own. Another key issue to address is debt - when a couple splits, you can be saddled with a portion of your former spouse's debt. Drawing debt into your prenup and determining how it gets divvied up in case of divorce is a financially-savvy move.

Prenuptial agreements are complex contracts that require the legal know-how of an attorney. A lawyer will make sure that your concerns and needs are addressed in a prenup while making sure the contract contains the necessary matrimonial, divorce and state considerations to make it executable.

Source: Huffington Post, "What You Need To Know About Prenups," Joseph E. Cordell, April 17, 2012

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