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A prenup, or prenuptial agreement, is a contract between two people that’s created before they get married. It typically lists each person’s assets, debts, and outlines how they’ll be handled should the couple divorce later on.

Prenups can be a valuable financial tool. While they may be difficult to think about while planning a wedding, prenups can provide comfort in knowing you’ll be protected.

How does a prenuptial agreement work?

Prenuptial agreements take a look at each person and catalogs their assets, as well as any debts they may have. These assets typically include:

Personal property of value (art, jewelry, furniture, appliances, cars, etc.)
Cash and bank accounts
Education and retirement funds
Investments (like stocks and bonds)
Real estate and other property

In addition to a list of assets, prenups include instructions for how they’ll be allocated if the marriage ends.

Some prenups allow for lifestyle clauses. These outline instructions for anything from what would happen in the case of infidelity, all the way to custody arrangements for children and pets.