People often think that prenuptial agreements are meant for the rich and famous, celebrities with countless assets and multiple properties. However, you do not need to be Angelina Jolie to justify a prenuptial agreement. Even if all you have to your name are your retirement assets and bank account, you may want to consider creating this essential legal document as a safety net to protect the assets you have and certain future assets you may accumulate.
Why a Prenuptial Agreement May be the Right Choice for You
Bringing up a prenuptial agreement with your fiancé may not feel romantic, especially given the stigma that is often attached to it, but it can get a very important discussion started. You and your future spouse will learn more about what is most important and work together to safeguard it, which can effectively bring you closer together.
Here are some of the benefits you may enjoy from creating a prenuptial agreement:
- You can document each other’s separate property to ensure it remains separate and protected
- You can distinguish what is marital property
- You can create some special arrangements you and your spouse agree to
- You can assign to debt to ensure it is appropriately divided or remains with the spouse who was responsible for it
Moreover, creating a prenuptial agreement will reduce many of the conflicts most spouses face during the divorce process, which can ultimately save you both time and money. Ending a marriage can be incredibly stressful, so if you tend to some of these issues now, while you still have each other’s best interests at heart, it can make things easier if your marriage does not work out.
A prenuptial agreement does not mean you believe your marriage will fail. You may never have to use it and it may never even cross your mind after you sign the document, but knowing that it exists can reassure you both that, no matter what happens, your future will be safe.
If you’re like most people, you could never imagine needing a prenuptial agreement. Many people assume that prenuptial agreements are only for the wealthy, but that is not accurate. A prenuptial agreement may be one of the most misunderstood legal instruments. Because so many people have an opinion about what it will mean if they have one, prenuptial agreements are often an underutilized legal tool. While many feel they spell doom for a marriage, in many ways, they can help couples create a stronger marriage founded on mutually beneficial financial and property guidelines. Couples are getting married later in life than in previous generations, and it’s less likely that newlyweds will be starting a married without significant assets.
What Should be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement
Money and financial disagreements are one of the top ten reasons new marriages fail. Financial strain is a difficult burden for a marriage. The level of discomfort many couples feel having conversations about their finances shouldn’t be an obstacle to creating a prenuptial agreement. You can work with a legal representative to ensure your prenup is legally drafted and adheres to California law. Contrary to some common misconceptions, a prenuptial agreement can’t be a one-sided document. If it’s unfair or extremely one-sided in favor of one spouse, it can be invalidated, so discussing your financial future with your partner before you get married could strengthen your union.
When discussing a prenuptial agreement, here are several topics you should discuss and include where needed.
• Premarital Property and Liabilities: If you and your fiancé have property, like homes, cars, and savings, you want to discuss what will happen to these assets should your marriage end. A prenuptial agreement isn’t only about your assets. You and your fiancé should also discuss your debts. If you have substantial student loans or consumer debt, you should discuss what happens with those liabilities in the event of a divorce.
• Children: You cannot include financial concerns for unborn children in your prenuptial agreement. Issues of child support must be handled outside of a prenuptial agreement. You could negate your document if you include such provisions. You can, however, include protections for children from a previous relationship. If you pass away, your spouse typically inherits your estate. If you want specific property to remain with your children, you would need to make specific provisions in your prenuptial agreement.
• Financial Arrangements: If you and your intended spouse have created guidelines for how you will manage your money and financial health while married, you can include some of those responsibilities in your prenup. It will provide clarity should your relationship end in divorce. You can outline if you plan to combine your finances and create joint checking and savings instruments. Will you file joint tax returns? If you have discussed your financial health and created a plan, a prenuptial agreement could be the perfect plan to document how your marital finances will be organized.
• Inheritances and Gifts: With couples getting married later in life, it’s possible you’ve inherited money, property, or other gifts from relatives. If you have inherited heirloom items that you would want to remain in your family of origin, you will need to make provisions in your prenuptial agreement to ensure these items do not become marital property. You can make provisions that if you die, these assets will be passed on to your biological children or returned to your family.
Create a Prenuptial Agreement by Reaching Out to Our Experienced Legal Team Today!
If you are planning to take a trip down the aisle, you should consider creating a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets and property. At Samra Dhillon & Associates, our legal team is committed to providing experienced and knowledgeable advice and will help you create an effective marital agreement.
Call our law office today at (916) 571-1550 to set up a free 30-minute consultation with a member of our team and get started.