If you are getting married, you don't have to be a millionaire to benefit from a prenuptial agreement. In many situations, a prenuptial agreement will at the very least give you more control over how your assets are distributed in case you ever decide to dissolve your marriage.
Since California is a community property state where marital assets are divided 50/50, it is worth your time to consider the value of a prenuptial agreement.
What a Prenup Can Do
A prenuptial agreement can help you achieve several goals, including:
- It can separate your finances: In California, most property acquired during the marriage is considered "community property," which belongs to both spouses. A prenup can allow you to separate some, if not all of the accumulations during the marriage.
- Protect you from your spouse's debts: In a California marriage, all debts acquired during the marriage are "community debts." With a prenup, you can limit your liability for your spouse's debts.
- Provide for children from a prior marriage: A prenup is often essential in the second marriage situation when there are children from a previous relationship. If you want to ensure that your children inherit their share of your property, a prenup can allow your spouse to give up their inheritance rights at death, perhaps in exchange for another agreed-upon amount.
- Establish your own rules for property division: In the absence of a prenup, state law decides who gets what in a divorce. With a prenup, you establish your own rules for property division, and for most people, this is reason enough to draw up a prenup.
If you are considering a prenup, contact Cleary & Green at (310) 817-6904 to arrange a free consultation.