Prenuptial agreements have emerged as an acceptable method for couples from all types of backgrounds in California to talk about financial issues. Poor communication and money disputes represent two of the top motivations for divorces. However, discussing divorce issues prior to a marriage gives partners an opportunity to express their views free of the emotions and stress that accompany the end of a marriage.
The prenuptial agreement forms a contract that becomes active if the spouses choose to divorce. In essence, each party negotiates terms meant to protect their individual interests. The contract could pursue goals like exempting an inheritance from a marital estate, allocating debt payments or paying spousal support. Prenup discussions allow people to enter marriage with clear understandings about their financial backgrounds and goals. However, an agreement cannot fully address child support or parenting time. The law manages those determinations at the time of a divorce based on the best interests of children.
Couples who got married without a prenup can develop a postnuptial agreement that settles most financial and property ownership decisions in the event of a divorce. Spouses might want to complete such a contract when they are concerned about their future together or new earnings and assets have entered the picture.
While these agreements are not entirely immune from legal challenges, contracts executed freely by parties who both had independent legal guidance could succeed at eliminating conflict during a divorce. During a divorce case, an attorney could strive to enforce the terms of a contract.