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What are premarital agreements?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2017 | Family Law

People in California naturally hope that their marriages will last a lifetime, but, unfortunately, this does not always happen. This is why prenuptial agreements can be helpful. These types of legal agreements, also known as premarital agreements, allow couples to establish property rights terms for their marriages.

Why should I pursue a premarital agreement?

Premarital agreements offer a range of benefits. For example, they are designed to protect people’s assets as well as protect individuals from having to assume their future exes’ debts. In addition, a prenuptial agreement determines how a person’s property will be distributed when he or she dies. This legal document clarifies both parties’ responsibilities and rights while they are married. Ultimately, it helps them to avoid lengthy, stressful and costly disputes if they end up getting divorced.

What role does the court play during a divorce involving a premarital agreement?

If two individuals get divorced and have established a prenuptial agreement, the court will still analyze this document carefully. Therefore, it is imperative that the document is prepared correctly. The premarital agreement must be justifiable, clear and understandable.

In addition, it is required that neither party be coerced into signing a prenuptial agreement. If a judge determines that the agreement does not meet state requirements or is unfair, it will end up being set aside, and the outcome you were expecting to have regarding the division of your assets and property may not be possible.

How do I know that a premarital agreement is right for me?

It can seem difficult for a person who is about to get married to bring up the topic of a prenuptial agreement, out of fear that he or she will appear not to trust the person he or she is planning to marry. However, failing to have a conversation about how both your assets and your partner’s assets will be addressed in the event of divorce can end up haunting you down the road.

Many people in California mistakenly believe that premarital agreements are necessary only for the wealthy. However, these agreements can be essential for people at all income levels and with varying amounts of assets that they wish to protect. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the process of setting up a premarital agreement that reflects your best long term interests.

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