Prior to walking down the aisle, the typical California couple assumes that the marriage will last “until death do us part.” This will be true for approximately half of these marriages. However, for the other half, the marriage will likely end in divorce. In either circumstance, it may be in each individual’s best interest to have a prenuptial agreement in place.
In many instances, one or both of the individuals have children from a previous relationship. In order to protect these children and ensure that they receive specific assets, it may be necessary to address this in a prenuptial agreement. Then, if the parent dies or a divorce occurs, there is no question as to what the parent’s wishes were in regard to the children.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to address each individual’s assets and liabilities prior to the marriage. It is likely that each individual has established a career and begun to acquire both assets and liabilities. Even though California is a community property state, the couple may wish to handle specific details in another manner. The prenuptial agreement offers that option.
Planning for divorce is not the goal of the prenuptial agreement. It is a tool that allows the couple to analyze their differing opinions regarding financial assets. Additionally, it offers the opportunity to address specific needs that each individual brings to the relationship. Each individual will want to seek independent legal counsel regarding this matter. Typically, this topic should be addressed sooner rather than later so as to avoid added stress as the happy day approaches.