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Why do couples get prenups? For more reasons that you might think

When California couples become engaged, an increasingly-common consideration is whether or not to get a prenuptial agreement. We see more and more people getting them than ever before.

Following are some of the most frequently given reasons for getting a prenup. Not all of them will apply to you and your future spouse, but we're betting that at least one or more does.

Many people who have been married previously and/or have children get a prenup. This can help protect the assets you already have, including child support or property you got in a divorce settlement. It can also help safeguard the assets you intend to hand down to your children or trusts that you've set up for them. Of course, a solid estate plan is also necessary to do that.

If one spouse plans to stop working outside the home or move to part-time work when you have children, a prenup can help protect that spouse. Getting back into the job market after a divorce isn't always easy or quick. You'll need some financial help until you're able to do that.

A disparity in wealth going into the marriage is an important reason for a prenup. If you have considerably more assets than your partner, you'll want to protect those. Meanwhile, the spouse with less money may want to help ensure against a drastic lifestyle change if the marriage ends.

If one or both spouses are bringing considerable debt into the marriage, a prenup can help protect you from personal financial disaster. You don't want to be stuck paying off an ex's loans and/or having your credit score ruined.

People who are in business often benefit from a prenup to help protect it from falling into an ex's hands. This can be particularly important if a business has been in the family for many years.

If you married without a prenup, you can always get a post-nuptial agreement. Many couples do that as their financial situation changes over the years -- either individually or jointly. Of course, it is generally much easier to negotiate a postnup while you're still getting along rather than waiting until a break-up seems inevitable.

Before you dismiss the idea of a prenup as "planning for failure," consider how many insurance policies you have to protect your assets in case something unthinkable happens. Why not do the same in case your marriage doesn't last forever?

Source: The Huffington Post, "Everything You Need To Know About Prenups," Ivy Jacobson, June 01, 2015

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