How to Have a Healthy Conversation About Prenuptial Agreements


October 15, 2022, In Prenuptial Agreements

At WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, our Los Angeles family law attorney keeps his finger on the pulse of marriage statistics in California and across the nation. In the past decade, one major shift has taken center stage, and that is more people are waiting until they are older to get married.

In 1960, the median marrying age for men and women was 22 and 20, respectively, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2020, the median marrying age swelled to 30 and 28.

The consensus is, waiting to marry allows each person, male or female, to gather more personal and professional experience before they say I do. This means accumulating more assets, and more debts before tying the knot. Before marriage, both are known as separate property. Separate property is a type of property that one spouse obtained before or outside of the marriage, while community property generally encompasses all property acquired by either spouse during their marriage.

This major shift is increasing the need for prenuptial agreements, so each spouse can keep what is theirs in the event of a divorce.

However, our Los Angeles County family law attorney believes prenuptial agreements are no longer about what happens to the property during a divorce. They are designed to provide a clear understanding of each person’s financial standing and allow both to plan separately and together for their futures.

Here is how you can have a healthy conversation with your partner about prenuptial agreements before you spend the rest of your lives together.

Remove the Stigma and Focus on the Facts of the Agreement

Discussing your finances may not be the most romantic talking point, but transparency in any relationship is the cornerstone of trust.

Prenuptial agreements used to carry the stigma of certain divorce. As is, “Sign this, so when we do get divorced, I get to keep what’s mine.”

Today, that is simply not true.

Shielding your fiscal interests is an intelligent decision — no matter how old you are. Now that couples are waiting to get married, they may have homes, business interests, acquired income, stocks, or retirement to protect.

The same is true for any debts each person may have, including student loans, credit cards, or medical debt. A prenuptial agreement keeps those separate, too.

This discussion will allow both people to start the marriage on the right foot by providing full disclosure of their assets and debts, so there is nothing to hide going forward.

What Information Can Be Included in California Prenuptial Agreements?

As you would expect, the obvious components like income, bank account balances, and debts will be disclosed while outlining the initial draft of the agreement.

Other common prenuptial agreement items can include:

  • Business Interests or Partnerships
  • Financial Investments
  • Real Estate

In addition, prenuptial agreements can include finances one or both parties would like to put aside for children from previous relationships, like assets or inheritances.

What Information Cannot Be Included in a California Prenuptial Agreement?

Since 1986, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act established the guidelines for all California prenuptial agreements, including what cannot be included in the document.

The details that cannot be included in California prenuptial agreements are:

  • Any details regarding child custodyor child support.
  • Non-financial requirements or terms regarding the relationship.
  • Any requirements for one spouse to commit illegal acts.
  • Unfair, unjust, deceptive, or exploitative terms.

Spousal support may be included in a California prenuptial agreement only if both parties have retained independent counsel before signing the agreement.

To finalize a prenuptial agreement in California, the document must be developed in lawful terms within a written contract, contain complete financial information from both parties, and be signed and notarized voluntarily without deceit, duress, coercion, or intimidation.

If only one attorney has been retained to create the prenuptial agreement, the other party has at least seven days to have the document reviewed by independent legal counsel before signing.

Contact WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have questions about the details of a prenuptial agreement, and how the contract can help you start your marriage off on the right foot, contact our skilled prenuptial agreement attorneys in Los Angeles County at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC by calling (310) 552-3505 to schedule a free consultation today. We can help provide solutions that produce results.

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