Dreaded and loved…the prenuptial agreement.

Ah, the often necessary and seldom appreciated prenup. While the law governing marriage in California is designed to be fair and protect a husband and wife, sometimes in its application an opposite result occurs. The law treats marriage as a contract with a myriad of terms and conditions that take effect once the “I dos” have been said. The benefits of having a premarital agreement is that rather than the state of California determining the terms that will govern your marriage, you and your spouse get to. So, while you are still in love and want to be fair to each other and work out an agreement that both of you can live with, you can by preparing a prenup. The other option is to go blindly into wedded bliss and then, if it doesn’t work out, perhaps be the dear in the headlights knocking on a divorce attorney’s door…Actually my initial goal in meeting with a client who is interested in drafting a prenup is to see if it can be avoided in the first place.

It’s important to determine a client’s objectives and then discuss them in light of California law…and in this case a little knowledge can be all they need. Depending on what one’s assets are what he/she is trying to achieve there are times that with the proper planning a premarital agreement can be avoided altogether. In cases where this isn’t possible (i.e. there is no way to keep a business interest separate without one), all I can say is that it’s probably best to do one…and expect some tears.

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