California couples should consider prenuptial agreements
Couples in California about to launch their new lives together have many things to plan and arrange. For an increasing number of those contemplating wedded bliss, drafting a prenuptial agreement is high up on that list.
Changing marriage trends, including more later-life marriages and remarriages, have increased the demand for such advance planning. Many new spouses come into a marriage with an accumulation of assets ranging from professional careers to small businesses, or with substantial obligations from their earlier lives, such as to children from a prior marriage or relationship, or student loans or credit card debt.
Other factors that are affecting a change in marital trends are an increasing number of women in the workforce, and a growing number of people anticipating the receipt of substantial inheritances from the deaths of parents or grandparents. More couples are willing to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement, and are doing so in a collaborative way, as the use of such agreements has gained more widespread acceptance as a prudent thing to do.
Many say that being direct and open about possible financial issues and problems that could arise in a new marriage can help dispel misunderstandings and promote a feeling of respect and trust. Conflicts over financial issues, especially when not confronted, often lead to disputes serious enough to end in divorce.
In addition to prenuptial agreements, some couples who entered into marriages without such an agreement in place are taking steps to rectify that oversight after the fact with postnuptial agreements. These documents try to resolve in advance financial issues after the marriage has already begun.
There is also growing trend towards more couples living together without a formal marriage, Unmarried cohabiting couples increased by 41 percent in the first 10 years of the new century. Because of legal obligations, many such couples now take the drafting of cohabitation agreements as seriously as married couples take prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.
Source: The New York Law Journal, “Current trends in a Growth Area: Prenuptial Agreements,” Arlene G. Dubin and Rebecca A. Provder, July 30, 2012
• Our firm works with couples who are getting married and would like to prepare accordingly. For more information on prenuptial agreements, please visit our Orange Country Family Law page.