No one gets married thinking that it will end in divorce, but the unfortunate reality is that it does happen. When it does, couples who have a prenuptial agreement in place are far better off than those who do not. A prenuptial agreement may protect both parties in the event of a divorce and ensure that each person walks away with what they are entitled to.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement, and Why Might You Need One?
As the name implies, a prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by two people planning to marry. While some agreements may discuss rights and responsibilities during the marriage, they usually outline the division of assets if the marriage ends.
Having a prenup is advantageous for several reasons, such as:
- Ensuring that any inheritance you receive remains separate from your joint assets.
- Keeping certain financial accounts solely in your name, including any pensions or 401(k) accounts.
- Establishing clear expectations about future responsibilities as well as financial independence during the marriage.
- Providing peace of mind and ensuring your needs are met in the event of a divorce.
Myths About Prenuptial Agreements
There are several common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements. Discussing divorce before entering a marriage can create feelings of mistrust and insecurity within a relationship. If one spouse feels like they are signing away their rights, it can lead to resentment and conflict. Furthermore, one person may feel like their future spouse is more interested in protecting assets than building a relationship. While the process requires couples to have potentially difficult conversations about their finances and expectations for the future, creating a prenuptial agreement can establish a solid foundation for a marriage.
Why Might a Prenuptial Agreement Not be Enforceable?
There are many different reasons why a prenuptial agreement may not be enforceable in California. While a couple can draft their own contract, California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) outlines what they need to include in an agreement. Failure to meet those requirements could invalidate the contract.
Furthermore, there are some items that can’t be in the agreement, including:
- Anything regarding child custody or support
- Illegal activity
- Non-financial demands of the spouse
- Any language that is considered unjust or exploitive
We Can Help Create Your Prenup
Creating a prenuptial agreement is a legally complex process. Our attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have experience crafting agreements that meet California’s legal requirements and will provide peace of mind for you and your future spouse.