Prenuptial contracts protect spouses during property division

Until recently, if someone suggested a prenuptial agreement to his or her intended spouse, it may have raised questions of trust or filled one spouse with the fear that the other expected the marriage to be doomed. Fortunately, the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement is no longer the scary deal-breaker it once was. In fact, many young couples in California are finding that, aside from protecting themselves during property division, a prenuptial agreement is a way for them to protect each other.

Couples are marrying later in life, and many have already established their investments, businesses and spending habits before they decide to settle down with a spouse. In fact, studies show that, in the past four decades, the number of full-time homemakers has dropped from 43 percent to about 14 percent. Instead, women are completing their educations, establishing careers and waiting until their 30s to marry. Not only does this mean bringing an income to the marriage, it may also mean bringing debt.

A prenuptial agreement can be used to protect one spouse from the other’s debt. For example, one couple in another state drafted a prenuptial agreement because she already had a substantial retirement savings, but he carried significant debt due to his many business ventures. The man wanted to protect his fiancée’s savings from liability. They do not see the prenuptial agreement as a symbol of doom but as a sign of their respect for each other.

A California attorney can assist couples in drafting a prenuptial agreement that will simplify property division if a marriage ends. This is especially helpful to couples who have been married previously or who own investment properties or businesses. While no couple wants to consider the possibility of divorce, those with drastically different financial situations may appreciate the security of a premarital contract.

Source:, “Why millennials are more likely to have a prenup than their parents”, Jonnelle Marte, Aug. 13, 2017

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