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Many people mistakenly believe that only the wealthy need a prenuptial agreement before marriage. In fact, this type of legal agreement can provide peace of mind for anyone who wants to protect his or her business, preserve specific assets or provide for children from a previous relationship in a divorce. 

Read on to explore potential scenarios in which you should consider a prenuptial agreement. 

Documenting separate property 

When either partner has accrued property and/or earned significant income prior to the marriage, he or she can establish those assets as separate property in a prenuptial agreement. You may want to document your separate assets if you earn more than $100,000 annually, have assets worth at least $50,000, own real estate, have a retirement account in which you have been investing for longer than a year or have stock options or profit sharing benefits through your employer. 

Protecting business ownership 

If you have spent years investing time and money in your own business, it makes sense to shield your hard work with a prenuptial agreement. For example, you can indicate a percentage of the business your spouse will receive if you divorce. Otherwise, the Ohio court may consider your company marital property and divide it evenly in a divorce. 

Providing for children 

If you have children from a prior relationship and plan to marry again, you may want to ensure that your children receive an inheritance with a prenuptial agreement. In the absence of this type of document, your spouse may inherit your entire estate if you die unexpectedly. Having documentation in place that provides for all family members offers peace of mind. 

In Ohio, the law calls prenuptial agreements “antenuptial agreements.” To be legally valid, the document must disclose each individual’s property, assets and debts. Both parties must enter the agreement willingly, without coercion or fraud. The language within the document may not encourage divorce under specific circumstances.