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Don't fret over property division -- get a prenup

You probably already have an idea of the type of people who use prenuptial agreements -- wealthy and perhaps not totally committed to their future nuptials. Unfortunately, this long-standing stereotype makes it difficult for the average person in California to fully grasp the true benefits of a prenup. Whether addressing concerns about property division or protecting yourself from your partner's debt, a prenup is an invaluable tool from which virtually anyone can benefit.

So why is it important to tackle issues like property division if you have no plans of divorcing in the future? Aside from the fact that divorce is a possibility for anyone, thinking about your assets and finances before marriage is actually a very healthy step. This gives you and your soon-to-be spouse the opportunity to be open and honest about your property and debt, laying the groundwork for future open lines of communication within your marriage. Plus, having your financial ducks in a row before you even walk down the aisle can make embarking on this new path in life much easier.

This is especially true when it comes to debt. While many adults carry some form of debt, including credit cards or student loans, you probably do not want to take on the financial burden of your spouse's bills. A prenuptial can maintain your spouse's debt as separate property and, in the event of a divorce, ensure that creditors do not come after you for repayment.

Prenuptial agreements are an important planning tool for California couples. From looking ahead to household financial management to defining personal and marital property in the event of divorce, these documents are incredibly versatile and beneficial to virtually anyone. However, to ensure that they are enforceable during property division, it is usually a good idea -- in the very least -- to have a professional examine its contents before signing.

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