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Los Gatos prenup attorneyHaving a conversation with your soon-to-be spouse regarding the possibility of divorce might seem like a poor way to kick off your life together. However, discussing the potential end of your relationship and making decisions ahead of time can not only help you avoid uncertainty and conflict in the future, but it can actually strengthen your relationship and help you understand the issues that are important to both of you. In many situations, a prenuptial agreement can be critical to ensure that a potential divorce does not compromise your financial well-being. If you are considering signing a prenup before getting married, you should work with an attorney to ensure your agreement will protect your rights and meet your needs.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Before looking into the possibility of establishing a prenuptial agreement, it is important to understand what this type of agreement actually entails. In short, a prenuptial agreement is a document that establishes how certain matters will be handled in the event that a couple’s marriage ends through divorce or death. A prenup can decide how community property (assets and debts acquired by a couple during their marriage) will be divided, and it can determine how spousal support payments will be structured. However, a prenuptial agreement will not cover issues such as child custody or child support

Why a Prenuptial Agreement May Be Necessary

A prenuptial agreement may not be necessary for everyone, but it can provide essential protections for people in certain situations. If you have children from a previous marriage, your prenup can establish how you want them to be financially taken care of in the case of death or a divorce. If you own a successful business, or if you earn a higher amount of income than your partners, a prenuptial agreement can establish your separate assets and can explicitly describe how community property will be divided. If your future spouse has accumulated large debts, a prenup can state that they alone will be responsible for these liabilities in the event of a divorce. 

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Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for prenuptial agreements

Every year, thousands of Americans choose to pursue a divorce. The decision to separate can be difficult, and the process of resolving disputes through litigation or mediation can be very stressful. However, if a couple makes the decision to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married, the anxiety and pressure of a divorce can be significantly lessened. There are multiple benefits of a prenuptial agreement.  If you are getting married, you should consult with a skilled family law attorney to determine whether a prenuptial agreement is the right option for you.

How a Prenuptial Agreement  Can Help

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between you and your prospective spouse made prior to marriage that will define how certain issues will be resolved if the marriage ends, including through divorce or legal separation. Most notably, a prenuptial agreement may outline the division of property and make decisions about spousal support if you ultimately decide to divorce. Here are just a few ways that a prenuptial agreement could benefit you in the long run:

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Santa Clara County prenup attorneyMost couples view marriage as a partnership of equals. They believe, for example, that major decisions should be made jointly and that there should be an equitable division of household responsibilities. It can be hard to achieve that sense of equal partnership, however, when a marriage begins with a major imbalance in terms of assets, debts, and/or family responsibilities. A prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement or prenup) can help put new spouses on a more equal footing. 

There are a number of things to consider when developing a prenuptial agreement, including California legal requirements and the personal needs of the spouses-to-be.

Your Prenup Must Meet Legal Requirements for Enforceability

The California Family Code includes a chapter titled the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA). This law sets forth the requirements for a prenup to be legally enforceable:

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Los Gatos CA prenup attorney“Work for the best, but prepare for the worst.” That is the reason many people choose to create a prenuptial agreement

When you plan your wedding day, you believe in the power of love, and you expect your marriage to last. No matter how hard you work at it, though, sometimes relationships break. It may be due to a developing alcohol or drug use disorder, infidelity, or simply a gradual divergence in your goals and expectations. Whatever the reason, if a split happens, you will be glad you put a prenuptial agreement in place. In fact, the process of discussing your individual finances and future goals can actually strengthen your relationship as you begin married life.

When Is a California Prenuptial Agreement Most Important?

Under California law, all income and property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be owned equally by both spouses; this is called community property or marital assets. It does not matter whose name is on the title of a car or piece of real estate; that asset is still considered community property. Upon divorce, community property must be divided equally between the spouses, regardless of how long the marriage lasted.

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CA divorce lawyerCouples who are planning to get married are not likely to be thinking about divorce. However, taking the time to consider how certain matters will be handled if their relationship ever ends can save them a great deal of difficulty in the future. By creating a prenuptial agreement, a couple can make decisions about issues such as the division of property or spousal support, ensuring that their rights and financial security will be protected, no matter what happens in the years to come. Here are some benefits that a prenuptial agreement can provide:

Protecting assets - California is a community property state, which means that property owned by married spouses must be divided equally during divorce. A prenuptial agreement can specify each spouse’s ownership rights to any property owned by a spouse prior to getting married or acquired by married spouses. This can be especially helpful when one or both spouses own business interests since an agreement can determine how business ownership will be handled and ensure that the business can remain operational after divorce.

Assigning responsibility for debts - If either spouse has significant debt, a prenuptial agreement can make decisions about who will be responsible for this debt after divorce. It may also specify how the spouses’ incomes will be allocated to pay for debt during their marriage.

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