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A Real Mood Killer: Premarital Agreements

Marriage involves money. During your honeymoon, you probably won't be thinking about it. But after the honeymoon is over, the realization will inevitably hit. There will be bills to pay. There will be unforeseen expenses. And slowly but surely, you will come to realize that you and your spouse's finances are now integrated together. The question, though, is do you want to wait until marriage for this realization to hit?

It may sound unromantic to talk about money before getting married, and to a certain degree it is. But why wait? The truth about your and your spouse's finances is going to come out eventually, as the two of you begin a new life together. Would you rather have the "big talk" now or after the marriage and honeymoon? Couples who get married must decide this for themselves, but it is highly recommended that you at least consider talking seriously about money before entering marriage. In fact, such a discussion can help pave the way for a successful marriage.

After discussing their finances, an increasing number of couples decide to create prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement, known casually as a "prenup," is an agreement that lays both your and your spouse's finances on the table in plain sight. These disclosures are necessary in a prenup because the agreement dictates how assets will be divided in the event of divorce.

Divorce is probably the last thing on your or your spouse's mind as you prepare to get married. But if it does occur, you will want to already have a plan in place that protects your assets as separate property. A prenup gives you this protection and keeps your property from being at the mercy of the California Family Code and Probate Code. And, with a prenup, your spouse and you may have a relatively quick and painless divorce.

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William A. Feinberg 1928 - 2001

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