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Divorce: Couples in any circumstances can benefit from a prenup

California people who are considering marriage may have the misconception that prenuptial agreements are only required for those with considerable wealth. However, a person who is expecting a significant inheritance will not stand to lose it in a divorce; if it is not commingled with community property, it will be automatically protected. Compare that situation to a person with little or no assets who builds a successful business, a married couple that relocates to a different state with different laws or a person committing to a second marriage. For them, prenups could be invaluable.

If a person with a startup marries and his or her business becomes successful, the growth after the date of marriage will be community property under California law. As such, it will be divisible if the marriage comes to an end. If the couple had signed a prenuptial contract prior to taking their vows, they could have specified how they would treat the business if the marriage ends. It could remain the sole property of the business owner, or the couple could choose another way to with it in a divorce.

A person who marries in California and gives up a lucrative career to be a stay-at-home parent may lose a lot in alimony if he or she moves to Texas, where spousal support will be significantly less. That loss can be avoided if those circumstances are addressed in a prenup. Another situation involves an older couple who marries and intends to keep their assets separate, believing that they need no prenuptial agreement. However, if one of them dies, a portion of his or her assets that was intended for the children of the deceased may have to be shared with the surviving spouse.

These are but some of the circumstances in which couples without significant riches may benefit from signing prenuptial agreements. Anyone in California who plans to marry has resources available to support and guide them through the drafting of a prenup that will protect their interests in the event of a divorce. Furthermore, an experienced family law attorney can help a person facing divorce proceedings, including the property division process.

Source:, "Those Who Are Most In Need Of A Prenup May Surprise You", Alyssa Rower, Jan. 28, 2018

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