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A premarital agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement or prenup, is a legal contract between two individuals planning to marry. This agreement outlines how the couple's assets and debts will be distributed during a divorce or separation. A premarital agreement can also include provisions for spousal support, inheritance rights, and other financial matters.

Benefits of a Premarital Agreement

  • Protect Your Assets

    A premarital agreement can protect your pre-marital assets, such as inheritance, property, or investments, in case of a divorce. Without a premarital agreement, these assets could be subject to division during a divorce, which can be financially devastating.

  • Define Financial Expectations

    A premarital agreement can define financial expectations for both parties, including how debts and joint accounts will be managed. This can help avoid misunderstandings and conflicts down the line.

  • Avoid Lengthy Legal Battles

    A premarital agreement can help streamline the divorce process by resolving financial issues in advance. This can save you time and money on legal fees and help you avoid the stress and emotional strain of a lengthy legal battle.

  • Safeguard Your Estate Plan

    If you have an estate plan, a premarital agreement can help safeguard it by ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes during a divorce.

  • Shield Your Business Interests

    If you own a business or plan to start one, a premarital agreement can shield your business interests by ensuring that your spouse does not claim the business in the event of a divorce.

Inclusions of a Premarital Agreement

  • Financial Disclosures

    Both parties should fully disclose their assets, debts, and income. This is important to ensure that each party knows the other's financial situation before marriage.

  • Asset Division

    The premarital agreement should outline how the couple's assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation. This includes any property owned jointly or separately and any other assets such as investments or retirement accounts.

  • Spousal Support

    The premarital agreement can also address spousal support or alimony in a divorce. This can include how much support will be paid and for how long.

  • Inheritance Rights

    The premarital agreement can address how inheritance rights will be handled during a divorce. This can be important if one party has inherited property or assets they want to keep separate.

  • Legal Fees

    The premarital agreement can also address how legal fees will be paid during a divorce or separation.

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How to Create a Premarital Agreement

Creating a premarital agreement can be a complex and sensitive process, but it can also provide both parties peace of mind and financial security. Here are some steps to consider when creating a premarital agreement:

  1. Discuss the Agreement with Your Partner. It is important to have an open and honest discussion about why you want a premarital agreement and what issues you want to address.
  2. Hire a Family Law Attorney. It is important to consult a family law attorney with experience in premarital agreements. They can help you draft a legally binding agreement that covers all relevant issues.
  3. Disclose All Assets and Debts. Both parties must fully disclose their assets and debts. This is important to ensure that the agreement is fair and that each party knows the other's financial situation.
  4. Decide What to Include in the Agreement. The agreement can address property division, spousal support, and inheritance rights. The specific terms of the agreement should be tailored to the needs and goals of each couple.
  5. Review and Sign the Agreement. Both parties should have the opportunity to review the agreement with their attorney. Once both parties agree to the terms, the agreement should be signed and notarized.

Key Terms for Premarital Agreements

  • Premarital Agreement: A legal document that outlines how a couple's assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled during a divorce or separation.
  • Disclosure: The process of fully disclosing their assets, debts, and income to each other before signing the premarital agreement.
  • Property Division: The terms of the premarital agreement outline how the couple's property will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation. This can include real estate, personal property, and other assets.
  • Spousal Support: Also known as alimony, this refers to the financial support that one spouse may be required to pay the other in case of a divorce or separation. The premarital agreement can outline the terms and amount of spousal support, if any.
  • Notarization: The process of having a notary public witness the signing of the premarital agreement. This is an important step in ensuring the agreement is legally binding.

Final Thoughts on Premarital Agreements

In conclusion, a California premarital agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the division of assets and other important matters in the event of divorce or legal separation. This agreement can be created before marriage, and both parties must enter it voluntarily and fully disclose their finances.

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ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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Hi, I'm Sarina. Thank you for taking the time to read my bio! In 2019, I graduated summa cum laude from Capital University Law School. While in law school, I was a staff member and editor on the Capital University Law Review. I was also involved in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and Operation Legal Help Ohio, a program which provides legal assistance to veterans. One of the highlights of my law school experience was my externship with Judge Jeffrey Sutton in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. After law school and passing the Ohio bar exam, I worked for two years as an associate at an AmLaw 100 law firm, where my practice focused on corporate, healthcare, and regulatory law. I then took an in-house position at one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the USA, where I oversaw corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, contracts negotiations, intellectual property, and other general corporate matters. Specifically, I am proficient in business law, navigating due diligence during acquisitions, contract drafting and review, and providing effective advice in the nuanced field of regulatory law. I prioritize responsiveness and thoroughness. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions!

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