People date, fall in love and focus on getting to know each other. When the dating evolves into a marriage proposal, then some tough conversations need to start. One of these may include whether to execute a premarital/prenuptial agreement or “prenup.” There are many misconceptions about prenups, which is why they are an uncomfortable or even adversarial topic. Here are four facts about prenups to clear up common fallacies.
1. Prenuptial agreements are not merely divorce planning.
One-way prenups can cause conflict is the other party assumes mistrust and divorce planning. While a prenup offers protection and understanding if a divorce occurs, it is also an important part of marriage planning. It defines how you start your financial future, including property interests, financial responsibilities, and support for children.
For example, if one of you has excessive student debt, the prenup can clarify that payment is the responsibility of the spouse holding it. Defining ideas like this adds clarity and reduces conflict.
2. Prenups require full disclosure.
Another advantage of prenuptial agreements is they require full disclosure of all assets and debts. Chances are, you did not discuss these issues while dating. After all, nothing will kill romance quicker than talking about credit cards, hidden inheritances, and student debt. California’s disclosure requirements for prenups can put these issues out in the open and encourage discussion of how you will handle them as a couple.
3. Prenups can cause conflict-but there is a solution.
The problem with prenups is their potential for conflict. Many people interpret them as showing a lack of trust or commitment. Fortunately, if you work with a collaborative family law attorney, the process involves more discussion and less jumping to conclusions. You can have open and transparent discussions that address your concerns and feelings. While it may still be an uncomfortable discussion, it will not be the only one during your marriage.
4. A prenup consultation is useful, even if you decide not to execute it.
Even if you decide not to execute a prenuptial agreement, the consultation is helpful. You will learn about California community property, spousal support, and child support laws, and how they work during a marriage and after a divorce. Many divorcing couples feel blindsided by these issues, and you can at least go into a marriage fully informed.
The Law Office of Rebecca Medina offers family law services to help you determine the need or contents of a prenup. We will review your circumstances and options so that you can approach the topic with your partner from a place of knowledge rather than conflict. Please schedule a consultation with us today to start the process.