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5 things college students should know about prenups

So you're in college and you're thinking about getting married. Maybe you're planning the ceremony for shortly after graduation, or maybe you're going to get married before you're done with school. You're throwing off tradition and doing things your own way.

While that's great, many young people are using prenuptial agreements just in case. Below are five key things you must know about a prenup.

1. It can protect you from your spouse's student loans.

What if your spouse decides to go to grad school after you tie the knot? You're talking about tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. A prenup ensures that you're not on the hook for half of that if you split up.

2. It doesn't mean you're doomed to fail or that you don't trust each other.

A prenup is just an acknowledgement that marriage is a legal contract. It protects you in a worst-case scenario from the legal ramifications. It has nothing to do with love or a lack thereof. You can be fully in love with your significant other and still file a prenup that you never use.

3. It offers financial protection if you don't have a job.

Maybe you're getting married because your significant other got a good job offer after graduation. You're moving as soon as exams are over. You'll quit your job to move. Since you haven't started your career yet, you don't have much saved up. The prenup can offer you financial security in the event of a divorce.

4. It doesn't matter that you don't have many assets.

College students are often tempted to skip a prenup because they don't have any serious assets yet. They don't own homes. They don't have retirement funds. But it doesn't matter. No matter how much or how little you have, you want to protect what is yours. You may also plan for future acquisitions and the expected increase in assets following graduation.

5. It helps with a short marriage.

You are young. You've probably never been married before. You may find out very quickly that you've made a mistake and you both want to get divorced so you can start over while you're still young. What if your marriage only lasts for a year or two before you split up? Some people draft prenups saying the spouse gets nothing in the event of a short marriage.

Why not be prepared? This is a huge and exciting step in your life. You should be thrilled. You should be in love. But you should also remember that your marriage contract is legally binding. It's wise to take steps to protect yourself and your future.​