Orange County, Californians are aware that the use of prenuptial agreements has grown in the past years. Historically, most people who entered into prenuptial agreements were wealthy. Currently many people, especially those who have been divorced, view prenuptial agreements as a way to protect their best interests before marriage.
Additionally, financial advisors often tell their clients about the importance of prenuptial agreements as an estate planning tool in the event of divorce or death. Couples can write an agreement detailing how property and assets will be divided in the event of separation. A second part of the agreement can address awarding alimony or spousal support to one party in the event of divorce. Put simply, any issue can be addressed and agreed to in writing except for child-related issues, such as child custody.
One party can create a draft of a prenuptial agreement for review and amendment by the other party before signatures. It is important to note that both parties must sign the agreement without coercion to ensure that the agreement will be legally enforceable if necessary.
Another important detail in creating a prenuptial agreement is full disclosure of property and assets. Each party will have an honest assessment of the worth of property and assets involved. Drafting of a prenuptial agreement promotes transparency for the relationship before marriage vows are spoken.
Prenuptial agreements are legal documents. Couples engaged to be married can create a prenuptial agreement independently. However, for best results, couples should understand their legal rights and obligations prior to signing an agreement. With the right help, a prenuptial agreement can help parties in the future should an issue arise.
Source: Financial Planning, “Advisors: prenup pitfalls to avoid,” Donald Jay Korn, March 3, 2014