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Should you sign a prenup before the marriage license?

A prenuptial agreement takes all the romance out of the marriage, right? It's like you and your future spouse become business negotiators at a boardroom table -- except, not really. In fact, a prenuptial agreement can help you keep the romance in your marriage through the years because it removes a lot of the financial questions that can ruin relationships.

One reason you should sign a prenup before you walk down the aisle is to protect your own financial interests. You know the metaphor about the oxygen masks in the airplane and someone with a small child? You can't do anything for that small child if you are passed out, so you always secure your mask before securing theirs. Well, you can't do anything for your partner -- emotionally, physically or financially -- if you aren't secure yourself first.

Another reason to sign a prenup is that it is a good communication exercise for couples before they take that final leap into matrimony. A prenup doesn't just have to cover issues of money. You can use it to lay out specific expectations for a variety of relationship issues. Not only do you get the benefit of understanding exactly what each other is looking for, but you also put it in clear terms that keep arguments from occurring in the future.

Finally, you might want to sign a premarital agreement if you have been married before, have your own business or a large amount of assets or have children from a previous relationship. A prenup helps you protect all of these things while enjoying a loving relationship with your new spouse. If you are considering a prenup, speak with a legal professional to understand your options and next steps.

Source: Bankrate, "Why engaged couples should sign a prenup," Robert DiGiacomo, accessed Jan. 29, 2016

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