The prenuptial agreement, or prenup as many call it, is a legal contract between two people that is signed before marriage. The contract includes details about assets and liabilities held by both parties and how they would be divided in the event of death or divorce. When a similar contract is signed by two parties who are already married, it is called a postnuptial agreement. Some consider prenups something reserved for the rich and famous, but they are a firm foundation on which to build a marriage. Prenups can provide added protection to both parties in the event of death or divorce.
The protections included in a prenuptial agreement and who they protect will depend on how the contract is drafted. Both parties involved should be represented by separate legal counsel to ensure both are protected equally in the agreement. Both parties should also have access to equal funds to obtain an attorney.
A Prenuptial Agreement Can:
- Protect one party from the other party’s debts or liabilities
- Protect the spouse who is less financially stable
- Protect money or assets acquired before marriage
- Protect income and assets obtained during the marriage
- Carry out final wishes if the will is invalidated
- Reduce or eliminate fighting and litigation in the event of a divorce
During a marriage, a couple will have to decide how to pay bills, how to obtain the necessities like food and shelter, how to save money, manage debt, afford a housing payment, manage the costs of starting a family, etc. The “money” discussion comes up. It is unavoidable. The prenup provides the opportunity to get all the details out in the open before the marriage. Orange County, California couples planning to marry are strongly encouraged to meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss whether a prenup is in their best interests before the wedding.
If you need to discuss the potential benefits of a prenuptial agreement, please get in touch with the Orange County California family law attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.