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Planning Ahead for the Future: Prenuptial Agreements

Choosing to tie the knot with the man or woman you love can be an exciting season to experience; however, making plans for the possibility of a divorce in the future isn't a bad idea either. The divorce rate in America is just under 50% of all marriages; so prenuptial agreements were established to give couples the chance to work through the major details of the settlement before they are overwhelmed with the current happenings that lead to their eventual divorce. This is not to say that your marriage will end, however, the option of a prenuptial agreement is something spouses should evaluate.

Prenuptial agreements aren't for everyone, though if you own large amounts property, or other valuable belongings that you want protected, it may be the choice for you. A few questions you can ask yourself to decide whether or not a prenup is right for you include if you own any real estate or have at least $500,000 value in assets that don't include real estate? If you own any part of a business, you may want to protect your share by having a prenup as this would affect not only you but the company as a whole if you lost this in a future divorce. Next, if you earn an annual salary of $100,000 you may also want to protect your income by signing a prenuptial agreement. Other factors you may want to consider include how much in retirement benefits you have saved, your stock options, and various benefits. Lastly, if you have children from a previous marriage, or someone you wish to inherit your property other than your spouse when you die; a prenuptial agreement can help protect your wishes in that area as well.

As you can see, a prenuptial agreement is something which will protect your assets and property in the event of a divorce; but it is not only that. Many spouses will choose to file for a prenup if the person they intend to marry has extensive amounts of debt. This way, if there is a divorce, their agreement can specifically state that you are released of the responsibility for the debt they brought into the marriage. An example of this would be your spouse's medical education loans, or large amounts of credit card debt, etc.

While a prenuptial agreement can include various terms and agreements in the event of a future divorce, there are aspects it will not cover. A few of the terms that cannot be given away in a prenuptial agreement include the spouses right to waive government earned benefits, because they must be married to have the ability to do so. Another topic that will not be addressed in your prenup is what will happen with the children in regards to their futures. The court will always have the authority to determine what is in their best interest, and while you may list out preferences, the court can choose otherwise if they see fit. Also, in the state of California, a court will not recognize a spouses misconduct as a reason for property division to go a certain way, as it is considered a "no-fault" divorce state. The specific matters of what can and cannot be include may appear complicating, which is why having the legal guidance of a skilled Ventura divorce lawyer is in your best interest.

If you and your future spouse want to file for a prenuptial agreement, contact Cutter & Lax today for the skilled Ventura divorce lawyer you deserve walking you every step of the way!


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