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.
Contact Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers in Elk Grove!
At Samra Dhillon & Associates, we can help you and your fiancé draft a fair and mutually beneficial prenuptial agreement that meets your needs. You can also consult with one of our prenuptial agreement attorneys to answer any questions you may have about drafting your prenup. Call today at (916) 571-1550 to schedule an appointment with one of our Elk Grove prenuptial agreement attorneys.