Your family and friends might have expressed skepticism when you told them that you and your fiancé were planning on signing a prenuptial agreement. Some people think that prenuptial agreements are just for stingy old men who plan on dumping their trophy wives as inexpensively as possible after a few years of marriage, and for the fools who marry them. This scenario only covers a small fraction of prenuptial agreements. You can also use prenups to protect your spouse from financial mistakes you made in the past and prevent resentment over your spouse’s generosity toward your stepchildren. Even better, you do not need a lawyer to make a legally valid prenuptial agreement. It is much more cost effective to have a California non-attorney legal document assistant prepare your prenup.
What Terms Can a Prenup Include?
California is a community property state. This means that, under California law, all income you earn and property you obtain while married to your spouse is community property, meaning that it belongs to both spouses. Likewise, any money you borrow is the responsibility of both spouses. The court divides these marital assets and debts during a divorce, regardless of whose name is on the title or the loan agreement. In a prenuptial agreement, you can agree that certain assets or debts will be separate property, even if California law would normally consider them marital. For example, if you own a business with a partner, you can declare that income and debts related to the business will not be marital property. These days, many engaged couples sign prenups promising to keep student loans separate, even if they take on additional student debt during the marriage. Of course, you can also create provisions about spousal support, but not everyone does this.
Prenuptial agreements cannot include provisions about children. The courts decide parenting time and child support based on the child’s needs. The parents’ wishes are secondary to the child’s best interests, and making financial agreements about children before they are even born certainly does not fly. Of course, it’s great to reach an informal agreement with your spouse about fertility treatments, nighttime feedings, in-law involvement, and all the other aspects of parenting that can cause conflict between spouses, but these cannot be legally binding.
What Happens if I Do Not Have a Prenuptial Agreement in California?
If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, the court will divide all your marital property and all your marital debts in half. It means that your ex could get half the value of the marital home you paid for entirely out of your own income. It also means that you could be on the hook for half of the credit card debt your ex racked up during the marriage and half of the student loans for the Ph.D. program he never even finished.
A People’ Choice is the Most Affordable Way to Get a Prenup
You already have enough debts; there is no need to take on more to have a lawyer draft your prenup. Contact A People’s Choice to get a professionally prepared prenuptial agreement that fits your budget.
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