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Tread carefully when discussing prenuptial agreements

Engaged couples in Colorado may want to consider a prenuptial agreement, especially if one or both earn high incomes or have substantial assets. They need to take care, however, in how they approach their fiancé about one or the wedding could be off.

Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular, with more women requesting one. If one person wants one and the other doesn't, there may be problems if the concept isn't presented to them carefully because suggesting such an agreement can sometimes be interpreted as a lack of trust. Since many married couples argue about money, having an agreement in place can be beneficial as financial details, such as joint bank accounts and who pays for what, can be ironed out in advance.

While they are no longer merely the province of the wealthy, prenuptial agreements may not be a necessity for couples just starting out or who have little or no separate property. Couples who are getting married for the second or third time may need such an agreement more than first-timers, because children from previous relationships may need to be protected. Additionally, prenuptial agreements can be used to take into account spousal or child support obligations from an earlier marriage.

These types of agreements need not only cover financial and property distribution issues. Some agreements have clauses requiring that a couple seek counseling before deciding to divorce. There are some topics, though, that are inappropriate for a prenuptial agreement. Clauses that related to child custody and visitation are deemed against public policy by most courts and will not be enforced.

Source: Reuters, "Three things to consider before you ask for a pre-nup", Geoff WIlliams, November 27, 2013

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