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Consider your prenup when buying a home

The point of your prenup may be to protect you in case there is a divorce since you earn a lot more than your spouse. You don't mind supporting your spouse as long as you're married, but you do want to retain your own assets if you get divorced.

A prenup has to be written before the wedding, so, if you're planning to tie the knot and then buy a house as a couple, the house won't initially be in it. It can be wise to consider your prenup as you go through the house hunting process, and you may even want to add it in. Questions to ask include:

-- Are you or your spouse going to pay the mortgage on a monthly basis?

-- Is your name or your spouse's name going to be on the title for the home, or will you both be listed?

-- Will you both be on the mortgage papers, as well, or will it be you alone?

Yes, you live in the home together, but you may wind up thinking of it financially as your own home. You earn enough to afford it yourself. Realistically, your money is paying that mortgage every month.

Do you really want to sell the home and split the proceeds when you get divorced? That would essentially send half of your investment to your spouse. You'd also lose the house unless you bought your spouse out. It may be better to add into the prenup that you will retain the home in full if you get divorced, ensuring that you are investing money in an asset that you'll really keep.

Naturally, every situation is different, but you can see how important it is to consider prenups and post-nuptial agreements. Be sure you know what options you have.

Source: Quicken Loans, "How Alimony and Prenuptial Agreements Affect Mortgages," Dawn Jamison, accessed April 14, 2017

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