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The importance of fully understanding a prenuptial agreement

Imagine that you and your spouse have decided to get divorced after a few years of marriage. Before you got married, you requested that you draw up a prenup to protect your assets. The prenuptial agreement held up in court, but soon after your divorce you get a bill for debt that your ex owes. Under your prenup, he is responsible for paying it, so you contact the creditor, who doesn't care that you have a prenup. Eventually, they start garnishing your wages.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the situation one woman in another state found herself in after her divorce. She and her ex signed a prenup because she had a daughter from another relationship and wanted to make sure she was protected if they ever divorced. She thought that the prenup would prevent her ex's creditors from coming after her. What some people don't understand -- and some Minnesotans may know firsthand -- is that a prenup is an agreement between you and your spouse, not you and your spouse and your spouse's creditors.

A prenup cannot always stop creditors from going after you for your ex's unpaid debt, and finding this out the hard way can be overwhelming. While you can take legal action against your spouse after this has happened, it is best to make sure you fully understand what a prenup can and cannot control before you get married.

The best way to do this is to work with an attorney who is experienced in drafting prenups. There may be ways to make sure your prenup is especially airtight from the beginning, saving you time and money later on.

Source:, "Woman forced to pay ex-husband's debt," LiAna Gonzales, Aug. 2, 2013

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