Did you know that California has a default or hidden prenuptial agreement? If you don’t have a prenuptial agreement in place, the state of California will have one for you and, you will need to follow it regardless of whether you agree to it or not.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (abbreviated as “prenup”) is a contract that you and your partner sign before you get married. The contract defines how the finances and assets will be divided if you end up getting divorced. Some couples don’t want a prenup because:
- they mistakenly think that a prenup is for rich people because they have so much stuff that they need a statement declaring how the estate will be divided
- they mistakenly think that a prenup only protects the more-wealthy individual who has more to lose in a divorce
- they mistakenly think that a prenup proves that the couple doesn’t trust one another and need everything in writing before the marriage begins
- they mistakenly assume that if you’re getting a prenup now, it must mean that you also expect to be divorced in the future
In truth, a prenuptial agreement can protect both parties, and having one doesn’t mean that you’re anticipating a divorce in the future. At a minimum, a prenup allows both parties to come together and have a heart-to-heart discussion about what you own, how much of it is “mine” vs “ours”. Take the time to have this conversation before you launch into your new, married life.
California Default Prenup
For better or worst, the state of California has laws governing spousal support and how assets & debts are divided during a divorce. So, if you don’t have your own prenup, the state’s default prenup will come into play. Obviously, the state’s laws may not be how you want your assets & debts to be divided.
Scott Levin is a Divorce Mediator and he can help you draw up a prenuptial agreement so you don’t have to follow the laws governed by the California default prenup. Please contact Scott by Email or telephone: (858) 255-1321 for more information on prenuptial agreements.