Getting married requires extensive thought and planning for the future, as two lives are merging together. What people don’t always consider is that while their lives are merging, so are their finances. While divorce is not a topic that newly engaged couples want to consider, it’s a discussion that can be enormously beneficial to both partners. Making a California prenuptial agreement can establish protection over a couple’s future financial lives while benefiting both parties.
What Are Prenuptial Agreements
In the state of California, prenuptial agreements serve as a legal contract between two people before they get married. It allows them to plan for issues that may arise in the event of a separation or divorce. This agreement also helps the couple decide how financial separation will proceed in the future. It can ensure that the process is as smooth as possible in the event of a marital dissolution.
Many people believe that you have to be wealthy to need a prenuptial agreement, but that is far from the truth. A prenuptial agreement provides many benefits, but perhaps the most important is that it creates space for a couple to have an open and honest discussion about money. This is sometimes lost in the passion of an engagement, but it could be a factor in preserving the marriage. Other benefits of a prenuptial include:
- Benefit 1: Reduce Stress. Addressing and establishing the outcomes of a potential divorce can allow a couple to be assured that their needs and desires, as outlined in their prenup, can be maintained in the future. The couple can have the freedom to outline their desired outcomes with each other as they enter into their new life being married. This process builds trust that they have each other’s interests in mind and practice.
Creating a prenuptial agreement can ensure that each partner plans to be forthcoming and accountable to each other in financial matters. This planning can elicit positive assurance that they can trust each other with making financial decisions moving forward, as they are starting from a place of alignment.
- Benefit 2: Define and Clarify Financial Rights. Establishing a financial plan before the marriage allows a couple to understand and define each person’s financial priorities before the “I dos.” As they navigate their engagement, typically filled with countless details and decisions, it is vital to prioritize financial health topics, including the division of assets and funds.
Many financial decisions are made during the course of a marriage. It is important to communicate how these decisions will be made and consider their impacts throughout their marriage. The creation of this agreement allows the engaged couple to discuss and determine these matters together.
- Benefit 3: Protection of Assets, Obscuring Debts, and Property. For each party, financial security and well-being are important to addressing their individual financial status as they get married. If one party enters the marriage with significant debt, it is important to outline who will be responsible for this debt. One party may expect an inheritance from a family member and want to protect this for their own future heirs. Matters such as these can be proactively settled with a prenuptial agreement.
The examples above are just a few instances of the financial complexities that couples can face in marriage and divorce, and it is enormously helpful that soon-to-be spouses address their unique case. Though often seen as a suggestion of distrust, a prenup is the ultimate signal of trust because it gives each person the chance to prove that their affection isn’t tied to any asset or potential financial gain.
The benefits of a prenup far outweigh the negatives. They establish trust through collaborative financial planning and determine both parties’ responsibilities regarding earnings, assets, and debts.
Q: Is a Prenup a Good Idea in California?
A: Generally speaking, yes. It is helpful to understand the division of assets, property, and debts unanimously in advance. As you and your partner enter the marriage with separate financial portfolios, it is entirely helpful to collaborate with each other in determining both the merging and separation of assets in your marriage.
Q: How Much Does a Prenup Cost in California?
A: The price of a prenup in California is entirely individualized. Many factors go into the overall cost of a prenup. This is determined by the unique circumstances and hopes of the couple and the amount of time an attorney will require to meet these needs. Scheduling a consultation with an attorney is a helpful first step in determining the cost of a prenup.
Q: Can I Write My Own Prenup in California?
A: Yes, you can write your own prenup in the state of California if it follows the requirements of a valid prenuptial agreement. This is due to California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which allows individuals to draft and submit prenuptial agreements. It is strongly advised and encouraged that both parties consult legal counsel to ensure that the outcomes of your goals and priorities are met in this agreement.
Q: Do Both Parties Need a Lawyer for a Prenup in California?
A: Yes, if the prenuptial agreement includes spousal support provisions, both parties are required to seek independent legal counsel in the state of California. This guarantees that both parties are fully informed and up to date on the terms of their agreement. It can also ensure that no foul play was involved in the creation of this arrangement.
Contact the Law Offices of Patricia A. Rigdon
If you are preparing for marriage, you have a lovely adventure ahead. It’s still important to establish assurances for your future by developing a prenuptial agreement. If you’re unsure of your next step or if your partner is reluctant, contact our firm. With over 20 years of experience practicing family law, the Law Offices of Patricia A. Rigdon offer the knowledge and experience to ensure that your prenup is given the attention it deserves.
As you navigate this season of future planning as a couple, consider contacting our firm to schedule a consultation.