Relationship agreements are a way for couples to make important legal decisions about their relationship. A skilled family law attorney can help you navigate these concerns at any point in a relationship, whether you’re just thinking about marriage or you’re already engaged.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when creating legal relationship agreements.
What Are Relationship Agreements?
Relationship agreements are any legal contracts that a couple uses to set terms in their relationship. These written contracts outline people’s expectations regarding property within the relationship.
California uses community property laws, which dictate that any property purchased during the duration of your marriage will be split evenly between the two of you upon divorce.
If you have other preferences, it may be useful to outline those in a written agreement. Otherwise, you’ll need to abide by the local laws regarding property and finances.
Formal contracts give you more control over the division of property in the event of a divorce.
What Is a Prenup Vs. A Postnup?
Prenuptials will explicitly state what will happen to the property that each partner brings into the marriage. If one or both of you have significant assets, shares in a business, or even significant amounts of debt, you may want to make plans for what will happen in a divorce.
Postnuptial agreements are discussed less frequently, but they can also serve a purpose in your relationship. If your financial situation changes significantly during your marriage, you can create a postnuptial agreement.
Much like a prenup, a postnup determines how your assets will be divided if you divorce. The only difference is that a postnup is created after marriage, and most states now honor these agreements.
Every relationship agreement is different, and a qualified attorney can help you create one tailored to your needs.
Who Should Create a Prenup?
If your financial or family situation is complex, your marriage might benefit from a formal relationship agreement.
If you and your spouse have considerable assets, it’s a good idea to determine what will happen to them if you divorce. Whether you already have significant assets, or you plan to inherit them in the future, you can protect them with a prenup, ensuring that they will remain in your ownership even after the marriage ends.
Another consideration is if either of you has children from before your marriage. You can use your relationship agreement to designate some of your assets for those children. Without specifying this, your estate will likely go entirely to your spouse if you pass away first.
Business owners will also likely want to protect their share of the business in the event of divorce. Otherwise, you could lose shares of the company or some of the profits.
Overall, you may want to consider a prenup if you have a complex financial situation. Prenuptials aren’t just for wealthy people, they can save average couples a lot of headaches too.
Create Your Prenup with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you’re considering creating a prenup, you may be stuck on the specifics of what terms to set in the legal document. It’s important to keep in mind that a judge will need to accept your prenup.
The Law Offices of Linda J. Claypool can help you draft a prenup that will take your needs into consideration and give you peace of mind. Get in touch today to start planning for your marriage!