In the era when baby boomers were being born, divorce was a stigmatized event. People went to great lengths to make a marriage work even if it meant withstanding abuse, infidelity, or overall incompatibility. Today, divorce is not nearly as stigmatized as it once was, and it is not shocking to hear your friend or neighbor tell you that divorce is on the horizon for them. Life is unpredictable, and while we would all like to believe in the fairytale stories of our youth, there is no guarantee that a marriage will last. Entering into a prenuptial agreement can protect your assets and the assets of your future spouse in the event of separation or divorce. If you are interested in learning more about prenuptial agreements, call the Ventura, CA prenuptial agreement attorneys at the law offices of Bamieh & De Smeth today.
What Does a Prenup Do in CA?
Most people want to believe that their love stories will have happy endings. The reality is that no one can predict what kind of unexpected events life can throw at you. Finances plunge, family members pass away, and circumstances change. Some people may argue that signing a prenuptial agreement is setting a marriage up for failure. To the contrary, prenuptial agreements allow couples to get discussions and decisions about finances out of the way early so that they can focus on nurturing their relationships.
Prenuptial agreements are not about cheating one spouse or the other out of financial assets. They are simply a plan for the future so that in the event of separation or divorce, a couple can avoid wasting a significant amount of time and money on the costs of litigation. The plans in a prenuptial agreement can determine how the couple will manage asset division and alimony, plus other divorce issues. Planning these outcomes ahead of time makes things easier during stressful divorces.
In order for a prenuptial agreement to become a binding, legal contract, the couple must come to a mutual understanding. As with any contract, there must be a “meeting of the minds” to establish the decisions contained in the prenup. Your divorce attorney can help you discuss potential terms and form a prenuptial agreement.
The Effects of Prenuptial Agreements on Children
It is not uncommon for today’s modern family to be a blend of children from current and previous relationships. In the event of separation or divorce, many individuals want to make sure that their children from previous relationships will still be able to receive the money and property that they are entitled to. Without a prenuptial agreement, one spouse could potentially receive assets that were intended to be distributed to the other spouse’s children. Courts will not uphold any provisions addressing child support or child custody, and those issues must be decided at the time of divorce.
Prenuptial Agreements Can Define What Property is Marital Property
After being married for a number of years, it can be difficult for couples to determine whether a piece of property belongs to an individual spouse or whether it is marital property. California is a “community property state,” which means that any asset or property acquired during the marriage is considered “community property,” and is divided equally upon divorce. Property that is acquired before marriage is labeled “separate property,” and goes to its individual owner. If a piece of property was acquired by a spouse through gift or bequest during the marriage that is also considered separate property. Through the years, the lines between what is separate property and what is community property in a marriage can become blurred. A prenuptial agreement can help determine which property falls into which category, without causing debates and arguments at the time of divorce.
Ventura Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
Broaching the topic of a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse should be handled delicately so that no one is offended or hurt. Entering into a prenuptial agreement is common practice for many couples, and it should not be viewed as a plan for failure. Expecting the unexpected and planning for the future is a way to get the hard conversations out of the way so you can focus on the healthy growth of your relationship. If you are interested in drafting a prenuptial agreement, it is important to consult with an experienced Ventura family law attorney who can guide you through the process. These contracts must be written in a clear and concise way so that they may be enforceable in the future. Call the law offices of Bamieh & De Smeth today at (805) 643-5555 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.