While a prenuptial agreement (or prenup) is thought of as less-than romantic, it can be one of the best things you do for your relationship. A prenup has many benefits, especially in a community property state like California. However, less than 10% couples take advantage of all the benefits a prenuptial agreement has to offer. It is a common misconception that asking your fiancé for a prenup is an indication that there is a lack of trust. However, many couples feel more trust in their partner after going through the prenuptial agreement process.
Opportunity to Discuss Important Issues Prior to Marriage
A premarital agreement is the perfect way to sit down and discuss important marital issues. This includes finances, employment expectations, and asset ownership. A surprising number of couples do not communicate their financial expectations prior to marriage, which can create serious resentment down the line. When you hire an experienced mediator to walk you through your agreement, they will guide you through the most important prenup topics. You are also free to include any specific concerns as you move forward.
You Both Are in Control
If you do not sign a premarital agreement, the California Family Code and local laws will automatically govern your divorce. California is a community property state. That means each spouse automatically has a 50% interest in all assets acquired during marriage. This includes business earnings, retirement, and more. For some couples, this is perfectly acceptable. However, for couples that own businesses or have specific financial complications, this may be devastating. Without a prior agreement, you lose a lot of control over your divorce process. Your dissolution could turn into a long and costly battle. With a prenuptial agreement, you and your soon-to-be spouse can dictate exactly what you both want to happen if a divorce should occur.
A prenuptial agreement is a great way to protect both spouses in the event of a divorce. Sure, no one plans on getting divorced. But no one plans on their house burning down, crashing their car, or getting sick. For those unexpected events, everyone purchases insurance. A prenup is merely marriage insurance without a monthly premium.
With all these benefits, it is crucial that engaged couples talk about creating a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. Sitting down with a neutral third-party, like a mediator, is the perfect opportunity to discuss your agreement.
For more information about prenuptial agreements, contact our experienced Del Mar mediators at West Coast Family Mediation Center to schedule your initial consultation.
by: Jennifer Segura