Tinero, Aharonov and Associates Tinero*, Aharonov and Associates A Family Law Practice, LLP

* Ellen Friedman Tinero has retired from the firm


California couples should consider prenuptial agreements

A high percentage of marriages still end in divorce. In addition, many people are remarrying, and many couples -- regardless of whether it is their first marriage -- are already established in their careers and have assets and debts of their own when they marry. Therefore, it would be beneficial for California couples to consider signing prenuptial agreements.

It might not be the most romantic subject, but it is one that deserves at least a conversation. The negotiations do not have to interfere with the excitement that is supposed to go along with getting married. The earlier in the process that the parties discuss the topic, negotiate the terms and execute the agreement, the better off they will be.

Completing the agreement early on is also advantageous because it helps to remove any appearance of impropriety on the part of either spouse. If both parties are given ample time to have the document reviewed by an attorney in order to understand the ramifications of signing the agreement, there is a better chance that the agreement will be validated by the court in a divorce. The discomfort on the front end would most likely be much less than it is on the back end for California couples who must attempt to negotiate a divorce settlement during an already untenable situation. 

Much of the focus when people think about prenuptial agreements is on assets. However, it is just as important to identify separate debts that each party might be bringing to the marriage. If the marriage fails, the other spouse does not want to become saddled with the other one's separate debt. This is just one more reason why prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous.

Source: madamenoire.com, "Would You Sign A Prenup?", Jazmine Denise Rogers, March 14, 2016

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* Ellen Friedman Tinero has retired from the firm