Prenuptial agreements are advisable for just about every couple getting married. However, if you and/or your soon-to-be spouse have children from a previous marriage or relationship, a prenup can be essential to protect their financial future and ensure that they get the assets you intend for them to have.

Estate Planning Documents Aren't Enough

Of course, it's important to have a will and other estate planning documents in place to designate what assets you want to leave your children and other loved ones. However, if you get married, you should include the same information in a prenuptial agreement. This can help prevent disputes between your new spouse and your children if you pass away and also provide insurance in the event of a divorce that assets you have earmarked for your children, whether in a trust or in your will, won't be lost. Experts agree that you can never have too many legal documents in place to detail your intentions -- as long as they're consistent.

Prenups, like estate planning documents, don't have to detail solely the monetary assets you want to leave. They can and should include any items, even if their value is purely sentimental, that you want your kids to have. Our readers may remember the nasty legal battle that broke out between Robin Williams' widow and his children from previous marriages after the comedian's suicide. While he had a prenup and estate plan in place, it didn't cover items that had sentimental value to both sides, like his watches.

Make Sure Your Prenup Isn't Contestable

Of course, prenups are essential for just about anyone going into a second or subsequent marriage, even if they don't have children. They protect assets that you've accumulated prior to your marriage and help prevent being saddled with your spouse's debt accumulated prior to the marriage should you divorce.

A prenup needs to be drawn up by an experienced family law attorney who knows the laws of your state. A poorly-written prenup that doesn't follow the law can be challenged and likely found to be invalid in court.

For a prenup to be valid, it's essential that both parties understand what they're signing. They should have their own attorneys to represent and protect their interests. That can help prevent a claim by a spouse that he or she was coerced into signing a prenup or didn't understand it. It's not something that should be rushed.