As Californians who are contemplating marriage may know, practical considerations might come into play before the nuptials are legalized. This may include deciding if a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea.
Because California is a community property state, all property accrued during a marriage is subject to division in divorce proceedings. However, the issue might become complicated in regards to what constitutes separate property and other factors that can influence how much each partner can keep. Having a prenuptial agreement in place may help avoid such complications.
When it comes to spousal support following a divorce, the court decides whether one partner pays alimony and how much. With a prenuptial agreement, can decide on the marital distribution of personal assets or alimony awards in advance. Settling these details in advance can make things easier if the marriage fails. Another reason to have a prenuptial is if one partner was previously married and has children from the earlier marriage. Agreeing in advance to what those children will receive means that an ex-spouse cannot try to contest the legacies.
Separations and divorce can become contentious if there is not a contract in place to avoid arguments. Since most couples tend to agree that what they brought into the marriage should remain the sole property of that person and would be divided that way under California law, having a prenup enables the couple to decide what works for them.
Disagreements about property division during a separation or divorce may make reaching an agreement more difficult. If an individual is contemplating marriage, consulting with an attorney beforehand about a prenuptial agreement may be advisable. An attorney may assist by drawing up the contract and recommending what to include.