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A postnuptial agreement can resolve some marital dilemmas

You're a young Pennsylvania couple just starting out. Between renting tuxes and buying a dress, planning the wedding and figuring out the accommodations for your guests, your focus is on the present and not the long-term future.

The inheritance you might be getting down the road? The thought that the gadget you're developing might spawn a business empire one day? That's out of your mind.

But as time goes on in your marriage, those things just might creep back into your mind. It could make sense to start thinking about a postnuptial agreement.

A postnuptial agreement is much like a prenuptial agreement that you execute after you get married instead of before. And here are a few instances when you just might need one:

One of you stays home with the kids: If one spouse gives up a career to raise the children, that spouse can be assured of a financial settlement in the case of a divorce. It's hard to go back to your previous earning power if you get off the career track.

Your business is a hit: You could lose half of a business you built from the ground up to your spouse. And what if you have business partners you need to protect? Interestingly, some private companies will mandate that senior stakeholders and their spouses sign a postnuptial agreement before the executive can begin work.

The family business: A death in the family or a successor agreement could put a significant interest in your family's business in your hands. By agreeing to a postnup, you could guarantee your spouse would receive some funds and that the business would stay in your family should you divorce.

To stop a fight: It isn't unusual for spouses to argue about money, such as how to create priorities when it comes to spending. A postnuptial agreement could help you divide your funds and give you control over certain assets.

It's tough for couples to come to agreements about money, either before or after the wedding. Fortunately, there is a way to resolve issues that could get in the way of a happy marriage.

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