Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
Despite their long-standing association with the rich and famous, prenuptial agreements are actually quite common for married couples across all socio-economic strata. This is because they give couples a degree of certainty when they enter a marriage, which many individuals find attractive. While you hope you will never have to use it, a prenuptial agreement can form the basis of a backup plan in the event that your marriage ends in divorce. But how do you know whether you need one? Our Stockton prenuptial agreement attorneys examine a few situations in which you might want to consider a prenuptial agreement below.
You Live in a Community Property State
Marital property in community property states, including California, is divided 50-50 upon divorce by default. This is in contrast to states that practice equitable distribution, in which marital property is distributed in a “fair and equitable manner” among the parties, which may or may not be 50-50. Prenuptial agreements are a common way to circumvent the 50-50 default rule.
You Have Significant Assets
Prenuptial agreements are often regarded as tools wealthy individuals use to ensure that their spouses are not marrying for money, but they can do more than that. If you have significant assets prior to your marriage, a prenuptial agreement may reduce your future alimony obligations. A prenuptial agreement can also protect any wealth that you earn during your marriage.
You Have Children from a Previous Marriage
If you have children from a previous marriage, you may want to consider a prenup to preserve assets that you intend to leave for them. Many individuals use prenuptial agreements to ensure that certain assets remain separate property so that they may be placed into a living trust or bequeathed by will for the benefit of children from previous marriages.
You Own a Business or Have a Stake in a Business
Individuals who own businesses pre-marriage can use prenuptial agreements to establish that they will have full control over the business and to limit how much of an interest their spouse has in it. If you have a stake in a business that you share with others, a prenuptial agreement can also protect your partners’ interests in the business. And even if your spouse takes an interest in your business, a prenuptial agreement can quantify exactly how much he or she will receive in the event of a divorce, thereby avoiding major forensic accounting issues.
You Want to Keep Your Personal Life Personal
In some cases, there is no specific reason an individual wants a prenuptial agreement beyond a desire to retain some degree of their pre-marriage independence.
Contact Our Stockton Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys for More Information
If you are unsure of whether you need a prenup, you should consider speaking to an attorney who can evaluate your situation and advise you on the best course of action. To get started, please contact the Stockton prenuptial agreement attorneys at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau by using our online form or calling us at 209-477-8171.