Those Wedding Bell … Greens?

Making sure your fiscal goals are compatible before you hit the altar makes sense. Here's how to ensure a smooth financial road together.

greater well bein
g–and fewer marital squabbles over money.

Should Thou Have A Prenuptial Contract?
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett did it. But does a prenuptial agreement make sense for you?

It’s such a delicate issue, there’s no right or wrong answer, says Kathleen Stepp, a financial advisor in Overland Park, Kansas. Surprisingly, many experts say that prenups are a good idea–and not just for the rich. And if one or both parties enter a marriage with considerable wealth, a prenup is important–if not downright mandatory–to consider.

Here are situations where a prenup might make sense:
Second marriages. Often enough, there are reasons t keep property or assets acquired during a previous marriage separate from your current union. A prenup helps designated separate vs. marital assets, says Violet Woodhouse, a certified family law specialist in Newport Beach, California.

One or both of you have children. Experts caution that you have to think about how to protect the kids from previous marriages, especially if they’re minors. “If you split up,” says Stepp, “a prenup can make sure your money stays with your kids and not his new wife’s kids.”

One of you is working and putting the other party through college. It happens often enough. One partner holds down a job and puts the other through law or medical school. Should the two split up, it’s only fair, some experts say, for the party who worked and paid the bills to later reap some of the benefits that come from their partner’s degree.

Postnups? Couples who are already hitched can sign a so-called “postnuptial agreement” disclosing all assets. Both parties must agree to the terms, and neither side can be coerced into signing the document.

Postnups must conform to local law. In California which subscribes to “community property” law, each partner has a 50% interest in assets. If you divorce, both parties must pay for debts acquired during the union based on state law and the types of debts incurred. (For example,it’s doubtful you’d be liable for your partner’s gambling debts.) In some “equitable distribution” states, assets are divided based on factors such as how long the couple was married and which assets were jointly purchased and/or owned prior to marriage.

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