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Bezos' divorce puts spotlight on prenuptial agreements

The news of the divorce of billionaire Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and his wife, MacKenzie, has returned one word to the minds of Americans: prenup.

It has been reported that the Bezoses did not have a prenuptial agreement, and Jeff Bezos' wealth has been estimated at $136 billion.

While most of us in Georgia and around the U.S. never will have a net worth of even 1 percent of his – that's a whopping $1.36 billion – a prenuptial agreement still is worth considering for most Americans.

Prenuptial agreements are made before a marriage and set out rights to property brought into the marriage as well as future earnings. According to a 2016 survey done by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, about 60 percent of respondents had seen an increase in the number of clients who wanted a prenup over the previous three-year span.

Younger couples have expressed their interest in protecting future earnings and assets. Others are seeking to guard family businesses. Older couples entering second or third marriages want to protect their assets for their children. A prenup also could be sought by someone marrying a partner who has children and will give up their career to care for the kids.

You'll want to make sure your prenuptial agreement will stand up in court. To do so, you'll want to work with your attorney, at a minimum, to see to it that it's fair to both sides, that you've declared all of your assets, that everything included is enforceable and that treatment of the value growth of nonmarital assets is spelled out. Your future spouse will want to work with an attorney of their choosing, as well.

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