You're in love. You're getting married. You're thrilled for your future. You also know that with marriage comes real life. Real life means financial responsibility and planning.
Maybe you have an inheritance or a business. Maybe you watched your parents endure a nasty divorce. Maybe you and your future spouse simply prefer to customize your circumstances rather than risk your future to the whims of state law.
Studies show that clarity about financial roles, responsibilities, and expectations may actually deter marital conflict and divorce.
And whether you need drafting or attorney review, we have the tools that will get you through.
Schedule a consultation. Explain your goals. Learn your rights. We'll answer your questions about terms and process.
We'll draft your agreement and take care of the required financial disclosures - with simplicity.
Both fiances have the opportunity to review, consult with counsel, and revise as needed.
What are the benefits of prenuptial agreements?
Prenuptial agreements afford couples the opportunity to discuss important financial issues, including money management, financial health, and estate planning, prior to marriage. Financial transparency and honesty are critical to a successful marriage.
During a marriage, a prenuptial agreement helps define financial roles and responsibilities, which actually deters marital conflict and divorce regardless of your wealth level. Financial disagreements are stronger predictors of divorce relative to other common marital disagreements.
Lastly, keep in mind: all marriages end one way or another, whether in death or divorce. It's important to have a plan in place. And while no one gets married hoping for a divorce, you don't buy a house hoping for it to burn down either -and yet of course you have homeowner's insurance. An investment now can prevent a lot of emotional strife and save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in the future.
What topics are usually included in a prenuptial agreement?
The content of a prenuptial agreement is customizable and can vary widely. Common terms involve characterizing and apportioning assets and debt (including financial accounts, real estate, stocks, business interests, earnings during marriage etc.). Provisions regarding spousal support are also common. Note that in California, provisions regarding child custody and child support are generally not enforceable.
In addition, couples can choose to customize terms based on future circumstances during the marriage, for example, different terms can go into place if the couple have children or are married for a certain length of time.
How much does a prenuptial agreement cost?
The cost of a prenuptial agreement depends on the complexity of the terms and finances. At our office, we offer flat rates for prenuptial agreement drafting and independent counsel review, so you will know the exact cost from the beginning.
Should I hire an attorney to prepare or review a prenuptial agreement?
Generally speaking, yes. Prenuptial agreements can be highly technical. For example, California has special rules regarding the terms, timing, and each spouse having independent counsel to show that the prenuptial agreement has been voluntarily executed. Whether you seek to protect separate assets such as an inheritance, a business, or real estate, you want to ensure that the prenuptial agreement has been done correctly and that you work with someone with whom you are comfortable.
Are prenuptial agreements only for the super wealthy?
No. Anyone can benefit from a prenuptial agreement.
First, as explained above, prenuptial agreements help clarify financial roles, responsibilities, and expectations during the marriage, which deters marital conflict and divorce. For example, does your fiance live within their means or beyond their means? Do they pay off credit cards every month or do they let big balances accrue? These are things all couples need to know and prepare for.
Second, if you have a business that predates the marriage, you can use a prenuptial agreement to protect yourself and your business partners. If you anticipate receiving an inheritance, a prenuptial agreement can protect it. If you're worried about liability for your spouse's dent, you can protect against that too.
Essentially, you have two choices: (1) enter into the marriage subject to the state laws that govern the marriage, however those laws may change in the future; or (2) enter into the marriage with a prenuptial agreement and choose your own rules to govern your relationship.