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How can a prenuptial agreement protect finances in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements |

A California prenuptial agreement might be difficult to discuss in contemplation of a marriage. However, for many people, their finances are such that they need to protect themselves. This could be true for one prospective spouse or both. Although there is negative perception about these agreements, there are benefits to having one.

A well-designed and comprehensive prenuptial agreement can address some of the most problematic issues that arise in a divorce: namely financial considerations. While it cannot oversee child custody and child support, it can ensure people have a grasp of how property division and spousal support will be handled.

Understanding how a prenuptial agreement deals with divorce-related issues

According to California law, a prenuptial agreement can prepare for most financial concerns that would come up in a divorce. For example, it will state the rights and obligations regarding property for each side regardless of where it is located or how it was acquired. The agreement could specifically state that one person will get to retain a marital home, automobiles, items of sentimental value and more. Or it could say that it will be divided in a certain way.

It can also say how property will be disposed of if the couple separates, divorces, one dies or there are specific events that occur. When there is a will or a trust, the prenuptial agreement can still be carried out. Ownership rights in a life insurance policy can be overseen by a prenuptial agreement.

Spousal support is a frequent source of discord in a divorce and a prenuptial agreement can state how much will be paid and received. This can be complex as the couple’s finances when they were married might differ from when they decide to divorce. If they had moderate income and assets and then had a large windfall through better employment, investments or good fortune, it could warrant a change to the agreement.

In addition, the agreement could be called into question if it is deemed unconscionable. Since fairness is a primary objective and the person who enters the agreement with less and is facing enforcement of the agreement, they must have had independent counsel to look at it with their interests in mind.

Consider the financial benefits of a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement is not a preparation for divorce. It is a protective device. When considering this option, communication and honesty are key. Since marriage is a time for excitement and hope for the future, broaching the idea of a prenuptial agreement can be a sticking point for some. Crafting an agreement requires a deft touch that can be achieved with the right type of guidance.

A fair prenuptial agreement can avoid many of the negatives surrounding divorce. While people are not thinking of divorce at the time of marriage and it is a sad event to have happen, it can make life easier to know the financial costs and a range of what will be paid and received once the case is over.

Contacting professionals who are caring, trustworthy and understand conflict resolution can go a long way in building a prenuptial agreement that withstands scrutiny and ensures a reasonable outcome. This is fundamental when trying to have a smooth process.