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Why prenuptial agreements are so important

Nothing quite captures the importance of a prenuptial agreement in today's day and age like the following story. A billionaire hedge fund CEO recently filed for divorce after 11 year of marriage. He and his wife said that the marriage is "irretrievable" and that the irreconcilable differences they have mean that a divorce is the only way for them to move forward.

They also have a prenuptial agreement, which likely has a plethora of provisions and language that stipulates which spouse gets what assets in case of a divorce. Without a prenuptial agreement, these two spouses could be locked in a heated legal dispute for months, and possibly years, trying to figure out who deserves what in the divorce.

This is the crucial aspect of prenuptial agreements that many people don't realize. It isn't just the fact that a prenup divides your combined assets in a way that you have decided is fair -- it is the fact that simply by existing in your marriage (and divorce), the prenup will eliminate much of the stress, anxiety and animosity that created by arguing over assets. The prenup can stop that argument from even happening in many cases.

There are certain issues that a prenuptial agreement can't deal with, and it is important to discuss a prenuptial agreement with an attorney before you even draft it, let alone sign it. However, prenups should not be immediately discounted because that's what past generations did. Prenuptial agreements are very important in today's world of marriage and divorce.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin files for divorce," Becky Yerak, July 24, 2014

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