Why same-sex couples need prenuptial agreements too
Now that the court ruling has solidified gay marriage and abolished the Defense of Marriage Act, many same-sex couples in Orange County, California, are happy and are likely to solidify their relationship with a wedding. Although taking that big step is a way to make things official, same-sex couples should also protect their interests, just in case they decide to divorce eventually. They should consider drafting a prenuptial agreement.
No one can tell if a marriage will last or will end in divorce because marrying couples are always blissful in the beginning. While many marrying couples do not feel that a prenuptial agreement is necessary, they should view the prenuptial agreement in a positive way. It is not the goal of a prenuptial agreement to build distrust between couples and anticipate that the relationship will end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement acts as a contract between the gay couple, which will set perimeters as to how divorce concerns will be handled. This, in turn, shows respect and makes sure that what has been decided in the prenuptial agreement is made with full disclosure of assets, strengthening the trust between the couple.
Divorce proceedings do not always end after the marriage is dissolved. Other concerns like property division, alimony, child support and child custody can also be a source of dispute between divorced couples. These issues can complicate how the ex-spouses start the next phase of their lives.
Many experts suggest that marrying couples — whether straight or gay — have a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are legally binding but they lose their validity if the agreement has been made under the duress of either partner. At the same time, the partners should set up a prenuptial agreement that they agree upon. As much as possible, having an attorney’s signature on the document can ensure that the court will honor it.
Source: The Huffington Post, “DOMA and Prop 8 Are Dead — Prenup First, Then Wedding Vows,” Lilah Stutphen, July 9, 2013