Reasons To Have A Prenuptial Agreement

Preparing for a wedding and marriage is an exciting and joyful journey. Couples ready to say "I do" should be aware that under the laws of California, all property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be part of the marital estate. It is to be equally divided if a couple decides to divorce or legally separate. Some couples may want to have a contract — called a prenuptial agreement — before they marry, thus changing the rights of each party with regard to property he or she brings to a marriage or acquires during the marriage.

Deciding to have a prenuptial agreement in place before the wedding doesn't mean the couple is worried that the marriage won't last. It just means they want to agree that specific assets acquired before and during the marriage are not affected by community property laws.

At Viola Law Firm P.C., we have found that prenuptial agreements often make sense for second marriages, for example, where there are assets or children unrelated to the new marriage. Such agreements can:

  • Preserve the separate character of assets such as real estate, investment and financial accounts
  • Protect assets for children from a previous marriage
  • Outline property division in case of divorce or legal separation
  • Determine how household finances will be managed in the marriage and clarify financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage
  • Keep business interests separate
  • Specify what assets will be considered community property
  • Define debt that will remain an individual's responsibility

Additionally, prenuptial agreements can address spousal support provisions in case of a future separation or divorce. This particular issue has specific rules that must be followed to be enforceable in the future. At Viola Law, we advise that you seek legal assistance to make sure this and all the provisions in your prenuptial are legally binding.

Why An Agreement Is A Wise Investment

There are many benefits to having a prenuptial or premarital agreement in place before the wedding, including:

  1. It organizes your finances before embarking on a new chapter in your life.
  2. It encourages you to have important conversations with your partner about money.
  3. It helps you maintain control over your present and future financial situation.
  4. A well-written and enforceable prenuptial agreement can save you the emotional stress and high expense of a divorce.

If you and your soon-to-be spouse agree on your prenuptial language, then working with a mediator may be the best choice for you. At Viola Law, we have a mediator on staff who can help put your prenuptial agreement in writing and make sure it is legally binding.

Consult An Attorney Before Your Wedding

If you have children or property from a previous marriage or assets you want to keep separate from California's community property laws, it is an excellent idea to consult with a family law attorney before you get married. The lawyers at Viola Law P.C. can help you throughout the prenuptial agreement process. Contact us at 650-532-9389 or fill out our secure online form. From our office in San Mateo, we represent clients throughout the Bay Area and Northern California.

Have more questions about marital agreements? Call us today and we can help.