Are you thinking about getting married? If you are – have you protected your assets? Unfortunately, many people think they do not need a prenuptial agreement because they don’t have many valuable assets. These people tend to lose more than they thought they had upon divorce. Bottom line, it is never too late to protect your assets. Even if you are already married - it is still not too late.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements offer many practical solutions to common marital issues, especially if one spouse earns more income than the other. A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage, outlining their property rights after they marry. It defines your financial and property rights relative to your spouse and protects your livelihood in the event of an unexpected divorce. These agreements can resolve issues that you do not think about when you are in the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship.   Such issues can include division of community property assets, reimbursement claims that may arise from using community funds to pay down separate property debt, division of 401ks, payment of medical insurance, custody of pets, spousal support and family support. You can also resolve issues involving the division of real property acquired during the marriage and agree that each party will pay their separate attorney fees upon divorce.

It is understandable that you might be uneasy about executing a prenuptial agreement. After all, who wants to contemplate the end of their marriage before they have even had the chance to say their vows? As uncomfortable as it may be, recent divorce statistics demonstrate that now, more than ever, couples getting married should sign one first.  In recent years, divorce rates have hovered around 40%. In California, approximately 2 out of every 5 marriages will fail.

8 Signs That You May Need a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement

  • You earn more money than your prospective spouse.
  • You contribute income to your retirement fund.
  • You plan to quit your job to be a family caretaker.
  • You own real property.
  • You have commingled separate property assets.
  • You and your spouse maintain separate property bank accounts.
  • You own your own business; or
  • You have children from a previous marriage

It is imperative that you and your spouse discuss the opportunities available to you through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. While it may be an uncomfortable topic to broach, statistics show that these concerns may be relevant to you down the road in the event of divorce. By evaluating these issues now, you will be able to look at these potential problems objectively and be able to come up with a solution where both spouses are happy.

For more information on family law, estate planning, trust administration or probate matters, please contact us at (619) 238-1712 or see our practice areas for a detailed attorney list.