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Protecting your assets the simple way: Postnuptial agreements

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement except for that it's created after you're married. A postnuptial agreement is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, you can create it if you have a feeling things might not work out in the future. Second, you can protect your assets even after you've gotten married. Third, you don't have to have a prenuptial agreement, which could take some pressure off on your wedding day.

A postnuptial agreement gives you and your spouse a chance to talk about finances and what you'd do if you did ever split up. Since you're already married and in a confident place at that time, it's a good time to talk about the hypothetical future. If you set up a separation agreement in the postnuptial agreement now, you'll know exactly what should happen upon divorce, if it ever becomes a problem.

Why get a postnuptial agreement?

As someone with many assets to lose, you may want to protect some of what you own. Or, if you're coming into money, you may want your spouse to understand that he or she won't be entitled to all of it or even half of it upon divorce. Creating a solid agreement now can help avoid issues like fighting over money or assets in the future.

Here's an example. If you create a business and begin to see a return, you may wish to protect your business assets from your spouse. If your spouse isn't involved in the business at all, you might suggest a postnuptial agreement in which he or she gives up the right to any assets from the business. If he or she won't agree to that, you could negotiate for a smaller portion than would be likely to be awarded upon divorce.

Postnuptial agreements have the potential to protect you and your spouse. Consider speaking about your financial future early in your marriage and taking steps to protect it.

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