Prenuptial Agreements Attorney

Pasadena Prenuptial Agreements Lawyer

Getting married is a beautiful and special time in people’s lives. For many couples, planning for a wedding involves selecting a cake, booking a venue, and inviting friends and family to gather. For many relationships, however, the pre-marriage time is when discussions of a prenuptial agreement occur. This type of contract has an insidious undertone to many people, but premarital agreements provide safety and security for both people. These contracts allow all parties to enter marriage unburdened by financial and logistical details and free of coercion of any kind.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Though many people have an opinion on premarital agreements, few have a clear idea of what they are. At their core, a prenuptial agreement is simply a document stating which assets belong to which party before marriage. People draft these documents for many purposes and, contrary to popular belief, are for couples of all socioeconomic strata.

What Is the Purpose of a Prenup Agreement?

There are many reasons to get a prenuptial agreement. You do not necessarily need one of the following reasons to get a prenup, though. Any couple who wishes to solidify their assets before they marry can draft these documents. The specific purpose of the agreement will vary from couple to couple, depending on their particular situation and financial background. However, there are some major reasons that couples seek out premarital contracts before they get married:

To Avoid Absorbing Debt

Prenuptial agreements are a fantastic way to help alleviate the financial burden on your future spouse. Many people have debt of some kind, whether it be credit card debt, student loans, or other payments. When you marry, your spouse becomes responsible for your debts as well. With a prenup, your spouse may not be financially liable for your debts, which can become a significant source of relief in case of your death. Couples in which one individual has far more debt than the other should consider prenuptial agreements before tying the knot.

Streamline Inheritances in Case of Death or Divorce

For individuals with children outside of the marriage, signing a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that the children inherit what is rightfully theirs. If no prenup is signed, the property will likely go to the living spouse, and the children may get less or none of it. With a prenup, lawyers can easily determine what is legally your property and allocate it to the intended beneficiaries.

Avoid Divorce Arguments

Though it’s unlikely that you want to think about divorce at the time of your wedding, prenups can make divorce incredibly simple and straightforward. You will have to endure far fewer arguments and battles over assets and will be able to retain what was yours before the marriage. This ensures that your spouse isn’t marrying you to gain assets and that any family property or possessions stay within your possession. It is important to note that prenups do not always affect alimony. In many cases, alimony is considered separate from premarital finances, and the right to it cannot always be waived in a premarital agreement.

Establish Financial Rights

This is what most people think of when they talk about prenups. In some cases, couples simply want to be clear and straightforward about whose money is whose and what right each spouse has to each other’s money. You do not have to be wealthy to write one of these, nor do you need to have children. This is simply a way to clarify what financial rights and responsibilities will exist in the marriage.

A couple does not necessarily need one of the above reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement and may have other reasons of their own. The purpose of a prenup is dependent on the situation but is almost always to protect the marriage from being sullied by financial battles or control.

Should I Agree to a Prenuptial Agreement?

This is a common question and one that does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s best to have an open and honest discussion with your future spouse and establish why a premarital agreement is on the table. Assess whether the contract protects you and your assets as well as your spouse’s to ensure that the situation doesn’t create an unwanted power dynamic. Talk about other legal documents such as wills to ensure that you will still be taken care of by your spouse’s assets in the case of death. The only way to know whether a prenuptial agreement is suitable for you is to be clear and honest with your partner.

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Prenuptial Agreement?

While it is certainly possible to draft a prenuptial agreement on your own, it’s best to hire a Pasadena prenuptial agreements lawyer to help. These documents are taken incredibly seriously by the courts, and every detail is important, even more so than other legal documents. If one part is not viable, the court may throw the whole thing out, and the process will have been for nothing. Because these documents have become increasingly popular, many court systems are accustomed to seeing different terms and agreements within them. This means that if yours is not made correctly, or if there is a term that cannot be held up in court, the courts have the knowledge and practice to spot it. It’s best to have an expert attorney draft the paperwork and ensure that your agreement will hold up.

Can One Attorney Represent Both Parties in a Prenuptial Agreement?

When looking for a Pasadena prenuptial agreements lawyer, it may feel overwhelming trying to find not one but two to represent both you and your partner. However, it is essential that you do so. The core of attorney ethics demands that an attorney have their client’s best interest at heart when representing them. For this reason, remaining neutral or representing two separate sides of one agreement would be unethical and ineffective. While one attorney may draft the contract and the papers, the other spouse’s attorney should review it and give advice as well. This ensures that the agreement works for both parties and that no attorney is breaking a code of ethics.

What Happens If I Don’t Have a Prenup?

The majority of couples enter marriage without a prenuptial agreement. While this may allow you to avoid pre-wedding financial negotiations and non-romantic contracts, it does mean a few things about your future:

  • Your assets, as well as your spouse’s assets, are now considered joint assets. In the case of divorce, the two of you will have to agree about who gets what. This can mean that assets that were solely yours before the marriage, such as property, stocks, inheritances, etc., are up for grabs during the divorce process. You may come out of the marriage with much less than when you started.
  • You are responsible for your spouse’s debts. If your spouse has or incurs debt of any kind, that debt is yours as well. You may need to pay if your spouse fails to do so, and your credit score can be affected.
  • You and your spouse have joint say over property or assets gained during your marriage. You will need their consent to sell or bequeath property, no matter how they are involved in your day-to-day life.
  • At the time of your death, many of your assets will likely go to your spouse. You cannot be sure that your money, property, or heirlooms will go to the intended recipients, as your spouse will have the legal right to them at the time of your death.

For some people, these situations are not an issue or don’t affect their decision to marry without a prenup. However, if you’re already married and have realized that a premarital agreement would have been beneficial, it’s not necessarily too late. You may be able to make a postnuptial agreement to better control your assets as you age. This document will need to be drafted by a professional Pasadena attorney.

Contact Patricia Rigdon

For the best Pasadena prenuptial agreements lawyer to represent you in your premarital negotiations, contact the Law Offices of Patricia Rigdon. With decades of experience and professional accolades, Patricia Rigdon and her associates are ready to fight for what’s best for you and help you create a pre-marriage contract that works for you and your future spouse. Call today, or visit our website to begin the process.