How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help My Marriage?

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help My Marriage?

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Help My Marriage?Marriage is more than an official union recognized by the government. It’s also a legal and financial partnership. It bears significant responsibility, including forfeiting some of the independent freedoms that will be shared between you and your new spouse. This is where prenuptial agreements come into play. If you’d like to create a prenuptial agreement, a California family lawyer can help.

Otherwise known as a “prenup,” these are official contracts agreed upon before marriage that outline how various financial affairs and assets will be dealt with in the event of a divorce. By better understanding the nature of these marriage contracts, soon-to-be newlyweds can better assess if a prenup is right for them.

What Do Prenuptial Agreements Typically Cover?

There are certain aspects of a divorce that a prenuptial agreement cannot influence, such as child custody. However, a prenuptial agreement can address several different financial aspects, including:

  • Asset protection: California is a community property state. This means that any new property or assets acquired during the marriage will be split equally in the event of a divorce. This can be overridden with a prenuptial contract if both parties agree prior to the marriage on how they would like items to be split.
  • Debt allocation: Prenups can also specify how any debt incurred before or during the marriage will be handled. For example, if one spouse has a significant amount of student loan debt, a prenup agreement can outline how that individual will always remain solely responsible for paying off that loan, even if a divorce were to happen.
  • Property division: Prenuptial agreements can also outline how property would be divided in divorce. For example, if one spouse owned a house before the marriage, a prenup could state that they should keep it after a divorce. If a couple plans to purchase a home after marriage, they could decide in their prenup to sell the home and split the proceeds evenly.
  • Spousal support: While it might seem premature to already be discussing spousal support arrangements, some couples feel more comfortable knowing they are on the same page with their partner before getting married. Within the prenup, both parties could agree on conditions under which spousal support is payable, how much each payment would be, and what circumstances would influence the duration of these payments.

How Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforced?

Prenups have to meet certain legal guidelines to be enforced in the event of a divorce. For a prenuptial agreement to be completely enforceable, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Voluntary agreement: Both parties must genuinely enter the agreement on the same terms without being coerced or pressured to make any specific decisions. Any evidence that suggests an individual was pressured to sign a prenup when they didn’t want to could void the contract in the future.
  • Full disclosure: There must be a full and transparent disclosure of all assets and liabilities that exist between both parties. It is unlawful to purposefully hide specific assets to avoid including them in the agreement.
  • Fairness: The agreement must be written so that any reasonable individual would consider it to be fair, and it must not leave one party in a significantly vulnerable financial position.
  • Legal representation: Both spouses should hire their own independent legal counsel to review the details of the prenup before signing. This is to ensure that an unbiased third party is able to ensure their client’s rights are not discreetly being taken advantage of.

To ensure your prenuptial agreement is legally valid and enforceable, you should hire a skilled family law attorney who can ensure your interests are protected.

How Does a Postnup or a Prenup Affect Your California Divorce?


Q: Who Should Consider Getting a Prenuptial Agreement?

A: Prenuptial agreements can be beneficial for anyone, not just the wealthy. They are especially important for anyone entering a marriage who may own a business, have certain important assets, or already have children from a previous relationship. Other individuals who find a prenup beneficial include those who anticipate receiving inheritances, anticipate a high-income career, or don’t want to share responsibility for their future spouse’s significant debt.

Q: Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Modified or Revoked After Marriage?

A: Yes, there is the possibility to modify or revoke a prenup after marriage. However, this cannot happen unless there is consent from both spouses. Any requests for changes must be made in writing and signed by both parties who signed the original prenup.

Typical reasons for wanting to modify or revoke a prenup include a significant change in financial income, new children, or a career change. It is advised for both parties to consult their family law attorneys to ensure any new terms agreed upon are fair.

Q: How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Affect Marital Dynamics and Trust?

A: The impact of a prenuptial agreement on marital dynamics will largely depend on how the couple chooses to approach it. If both parties handle the concept with mutual respect, honesty, and open communication, it could strengthen the relationship. It provides peace of mind to both parties, knowing that they are aligned on financial expectations and responsibilities in the event of a divorce.

However, if both parties are not aligned on the merits of the premarital contract, it likely won’t be able to have this type of positive impact.

Q: How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Affect the Divorce Process?

A: Having a prenup in place can help to significantly streamline the divorce process by predetermining how assets and debts will be divided. This can lead to a quicker and less contentious divorce process, which can also save both parties money. Those who have made a premarital agreement and then navigated a divorce are often thankful for their prenup, as it allows them to avoid potential disagreements over property division and other matters.

Reach Out to Bickford Blado & Botros Today

If you are about to enter a marriage and are interested in creating a prenuptial agreement with your spouse, connect with our family law attorneys today. We have extensive experience creating premarital agreements to protect spouses in the event of divorce, and we hope to do the same for you.



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