When couples in California get married, the last thing they want to think about is the possibility that their relationship may one day come to an end. For this reason, many couples choose to forgo a prenuptial agreement and leave things to chance. Unfortunately for these couples, the odds aren’t that great. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce, and that number can climb higher for folks who are on their second or third marriages. The reality is that even very loving couples sometimes encounter obstacles that make it impossible to continue their relationship.
While prenups have some stigma, it’s important to note that a prenuptial agreement is in most cases basically an agreement about dividing marital property if a divorce happens. Many attorneys recommend these agreements because they can reduce or eliminate a number of problems that accompany divorce. This includes protracted litigation about alimony and property division. While such litigation is more likely in a high asset divorce, it can still happen between couples of more modest means.
In fact, discussion about a prenup can actually keep bad marriages from even happening. If one partner has a lot more money than the other, there is always the risk that the partner with fewer assets is primarily in the relationship for financial reasons. Asking that individual to sign a fair prenuptial agreement may prove to be a test of the relationship. If the partner refuses to sign, this may be an indication that his or her intentions are not entirely sincere.
Individuals who are considering marriage may benefit from speaking with a family law attorney. The lawyer can help the client review his or her financial situation and, if appropriate, assist in the preparation of a prenuptial agreement that addresses the needs of the client.