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Why All Couples Need A Prenuptial Agreement

Family Lawyer

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A family lawyer knows that one of the least discussed topics before couples marry is usually finances. One of the most discussed topics when a couple decides to end their marriage is finances. It is critical to discuss finances before marriage and a prenuptial agreement opens the door for this very important discussion.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that serves as a private agreement between two people who intend to marry. A prenuptial agreement defines how the couple’s assets and property will be divided in the event of divorce or death. A prenuptial agreement may be narrow or broad in its scope, depending on the individual needs of the couple. The issue of spousal support may be included in the agreement, but there are no specific requirements.

What happens if a couple does not have a prenuptial agreement?

Without a prenuptial agreement, a couple’s assets will be divided by the state laws governing the dissolution of marriage if the couple elects to terminate their legal partnership.

But aren’t prenuptial agreements just admitting you think your marriage will eventually end in divorce?

In popular culture, prenuptial agreements are often seen in a negative light. They are generally viewed as an uncomfortable topic of conversation that indicates one person is either planning for the marriage to fail or trying to gain an advantage over their partner. Unfortunately, these common misconceptions can lead couples down a stressful and detrimental path if they elect to marry without a prenuptial financial plan.

It is common to hear people speculate that prenuptial agreements take the romance out of the marriage journey. Keep in mind that national statistics show that one third of all first marriages will fail and up to half of all second and third marriages will end in divorce. In the face of such odds, isn’t it wiser to hope for the best and prepare for the worst?

 Why is a prenup necessary?

There are many valid reasons for needing to have a prenuptial agreement in place. One partner may have children from a previous marriage and wishes to preserve assets and property for them. There may be a substantial difference in the income level of one spouse compared to the other. One partner may be entering the marriage with a significant amount of pre-existing, personal debt.

But don’t only rich people need prenuptial agreements?

It is also a myth that only wealthy people need prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement is for anyone who wants to:

  • Plan ahead,
  • Make responsible financial decisions,
  • Be proactive about minimizing stress and conflict over finances if a divorce occurs. 

A prenuptial agreement is the best way to define what each spouse’s assets, rights, and responsibilities will be before getting married. By establishing some guidelines and certainty in the event of a divorce, much of the financial anxiety and risk becomes a non-issue in the relationship. This will help support the couple in having a more harmonious and stress-free union. What could be more romantic than that?

Contact a Family Law Firm Today

If you are considering marriage or another family law issue, it’s important to consult with an Alameda County, CA family lawyer from Kempen & Company. Call our office for a free consultation.

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San Francisco, CA 94104

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Modesto, CA 95354

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