What to Include in a California Prenuptial Agreement

As the average age of marrying couples increases, more and more spouses are coming into a marriage after having established themselves in their career or having purchased large assets. This has caused more couples to move past the stigma that has historically been attached to prenuptial agreements and consider making one of their own. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, prenuptial agreements can be personalized to your unique circumstances. Read on to learn about what California couples often include in prenuptial agreements, and contact a Los Angeles family law attorney with any additional questions.

Whether alimony will be paid

One of the most common provisions of a prenuptial agreement is whether or not spouses waive alimony in the event of a divorce. Couples can also establish the amount of spousal support to be paid and can set differing amounts of support owed depending on how long the couple was married prior to divorce.

A prenuptial agreement has few or many components depending on the parties but protecting one’s assets is the primary.

Whether property is communal or separate

As a general rule, property acquired before a marriage is that spouse’s separate property, and property acquired after marriage is considered community property to be divided equally when couples divorce. Prenuptial agreements offer spouses a chance to designate certain property as community or separate property, regardless of when it was acquired. The prenup can also establish which spouse will get to keep certain property upon divorce, such as who will be permitted to keep the family home or car.

Which spouse will pay which debts

Rather than divide up debts during the divorce process, or attempt to pay off the debts in equal shares after a split, couples can decide in advance which spouse will be responsible for which debts, such as a credit card balance.

How you wish to resolve your divorce

Some couples will establish in a prenuptial agreement that they agree to submit their divorce to mediation or arbitration, rather than hold a courtroom trial to resolve their split.

Sunset clause

When couples are reluctant to enter a prenuptial agreement, some find it comforting to insert a sunset clause. This clause makes the prenuptial agreement null and void after the couple’s marriage has survived for a certain number of years.

If you’re planning to marry in California and want legal guidance on the issues you should consider before tying the knot, contact the professional and knowledgeable Los Angeles family law attorneys at Lavinsky Law for a consultation, at 310-274-2717.

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