A “prenup” may sound daunting and unromantic to some, and in certain situations it is simply not necessary, but for the vast majority of marriages, where any one individual has accumulated assets that they wish to preserve, a premarital agreement is invaluable.
A premarital agreement is a contract entered into by two prospective spouses, which addresses how certain property will be allocated amongst them during marriage and upon divorce. Premarital agreements can also address the division of property upon one spouse’s death. Today, a prenup no longer carries the stigma that it once had as being a tool for the rich and famous.
Premarital agreements are becoming widely popular among couples contemplating marriage, and rightly so. Premarital agreements can address a multitude of issues concerning the modern-day marriage. Nowadays, people are marrying at a later age in life, and have accumulated separate assets of their own that they want to protect. For example, interest in a business or real estate. Although generally, under California law, all property acquired before marriage is considered separate property, very often those separate property assets may increase in value during the course of the marriage, and in effect may later become a community property asset subject to division.
Another reason why premarital agreements are important is due to the rise in subsequent marriages. Research shows that 75% of women and 80% of men remarry within 5 years after divorce. Again, this scenario often entails one, or both, individuals bringing in substantial separate assets into the new marriage that they want to preserve. Moreover, if there are children from previous marriages, a prenup can specify what assets will be protected for the benefit of those children.
However unnerving you may feel about bringing up the topic of a prenup with your future spouse, our experience has shown that if the requesting party genuinely needs a prenup, it is often taken well. Thereafter, the couple works together to come up with a fair agreement, and the process is amicable.
If you would like to learn more about whether a premarital agreement is right for you, or if you need legal assistance reviewing an existing premarital agreement, please call Braunstein Law to schedule a free 1/2 hour consultation.