Is a prenup right for you?
A prenup is a powerful document that can be a great tool for engaged couples.
A prenup (formally known as a premarital agreement) is a legal document that couples sign before they get married that determines the division of property and other things should they ever divorce. It also protects one spouse from another’s debts and sets other expectations.
Is it for you? Historically, prenups were used by couples where one person brings more wealth and they want to set boundaries and limitations on how that wealth would be divided in a divorce. But, more and more, the current generations are using prenups for other reasons. For example, prenups are being used by couples that realize that they’d rather discuss how a divorce would play out while they are in love and have no intention of divorcing. They realize that statistically, there is a 50% chance that their marriage may end in divorce and they want to plan. A prenup could save them time, stress, and thousands in legal fees. Also, people are getting married older, so they tend to own more assets by the time they marry and want to ensure that their wealth is protected and kept separate from the wealth they’ll create with their spouse. What’s clear is that prenups aren’t just for the wealthy. It’s for forwarding thinking, planners of all ages.
What things can you include in a prenup? It’s important to discuss getting a prenup with your soon-to-be spouse as soon as you are engaged because negotiating, drafting, and finalizing take time. There are lots of topics you two have to discuss. Some of the most important points you’ll want to include in your prenuptial agreement include:
● If and how much spousal maintenance will be paid
● Which spouse will retain the home you share
● How other important assets may be divided
● Whether your spouse will be entitled to any cash or savings you brought into the marriage
The nitty-gritty? There are many different reasons to get a prenup. If you have your own business or professional practice, a premarital agreement can protect that interest so that the business or practice is not divided and subject to the control or involvement of your former spouse upon divorce. Additionally, if one spouse has significantly more debt than the other, a prenuptial agreement can protect the debt-free spouse from having to assume the obligations of the other. A premarital agreement can also limit the amount of spousal support that one spouse will have to pay the other upon divorce.
While a prenuptial agreement has advantages, it’s not for everyone. There are some things to consider before jumping into a prenuptial agreement. It can be difficult to project into the future about how potential issues should be handled, and what may seem like a minor compromise in the romantic premarital period may seem more monumental and burdensome later on. Plus, there are certain legal requirements that you have to meet so that your prenup is actually valid. A DIY prenup may be worthless in the future if not done right according to California law.
If you and/or your partner are considering a prenup, it's important to get the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to walk you through the options and educate you on what a prenup can and cannot do. Give us a call to learn more about whether a prenup would be good for you and your partner. (909) 377-8141
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