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premarital AGREEMENTS

What will happen if things do not work out as planned?

Premarital Agreements Attorney in Temecula

Premarital agreements are also known as prenuptial agreements, or ‘prenups’. Put simply, it is a document agreed upon and signed by one or both spouses before they get married.

What Is It for?

A premarital agreement document sets out the rights of each partner to property and financial assets in case the marriage ends in divorce. They are most often used to protect family businesses or the assets of a particular spouse who may be considerably wealthier than their partner.

Why Plan for Divorce Before You Get Married?

It may not be romantic to think about divorce before you tie the knot, but it helps to think of the premarital agreement as a kind of life vest. Every time you board a plane, there is a life vest under your seat in case the flight runs into problems. You don’t expect the flight to run into problems, but the life vest is there regardless. It’s the same with marriages—the ‘prenup’ is there just in case. With over half of all American marriages ending in divorce, it’s certainly worth thinking about.

Other Reasons to Have a Premarital Agreement

Premarital agreements can be used in certain cases to protect assets from marital property laws.

Such situations may include the following:

  • Where one party has a significant outstanding debt
  • One party has significant specific assets
  • One party has significant financial obligations or responsibilities
  • How property and assets will be passed on in the event of the death of one of the parties

If It Goes to Court…

If your premarital agreement will be scrutinized by a judge at some point in the future, they will need to check that it doesn’t contravene state law—in which case the law will be upheld. They will also need to be sure that the agreement was necessary and fair. If your premarital agreement is deemed to be unfair, it could be dismissed. This is the role an attorney serves: they ensure that your prenuptial agreement is fair and compliant with state law (thus being enforceable).

What Are Some Benefits?

  • If you have children from another marriage, you can protect their inheritance when you remarry
  • If you own a business, this can be protected from being divided in the event of your divorce
  • If you are quitting your job for the sake of marriage, a premarital agreement can make sure you are compensated in the event that the marriage is terminated

What Are Some Drawbacks?

  • You may agree to unfavorable terms which you later regret
  • Starting a relationship by setting out terms of divorce may foster distrust and become a self-fulfilling prophecy
  • You may undervalue your contribution to your partner’s financial or business success
  • You may miss out on inheritance you would otherwise be entitled to in the event of your partner’s death

Before You Move Forward

Decide with your partner whether the agreement will be fixed, or whether it will be renegotiated after a certain amount of time. Additionally, explain your credit report and financial circumstances to your spouse.

Finally, ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Do you have similar or different approaches to money?
  • What might cause the breakup of your marriage?
  • Are there “unspoken” agreements in your relationship that should be clarified?

To discuss your legal needs with an attorney — call our office directly at (951) 749-5863 or fill out a brief online form. We offer free phone consultations!

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