When entering into a marriage, the last thing you want to think about is the possibility of that union ending in divorce. Unfortunately, in a world where about 50 percent of marriages wind up in failure, divorce is an increasingly common reality for many couples. If you’re a wealthy individual with more to lose than most, the prospect of divorce is even more daunting. Our Irvine family law attorneys often assist high net worth clients with preparing for the worst by helping them enter into prenuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements are excellent tools to protect your assets and keep everyone’s expectations aligned with what might happen should the marriage end in dissolution.
To prepare an agreement that will withstand even the most bitter divorce, you should work with your attorney to effectively outline the most important terms and draw up a plan for what might happen if a divorce occurs down the line. Below, we review our top five tips for creating a prenuptial agreement that keeps your assets secure.
Take at Least 60 Days to Plan your Agreement
Don’t wait until you are weeks away from your wedding to get your prenuptial agreement drafted and signed. Most parties will likely enter into some kind of negotiation when they’re working out their agreement details. We recommend speaking with our Irvine family law attorneys at least 60 days before the wedding so you can get your paperwork in order and say ‘I do’ with confidence.
Have Your Partner Find Their Own California Attorney
While it’s true that you will be sharing everything as part of your marriage, you should not be sharing legal counsel when you’re working out the terms of your prenuptial agreement. You should encourage your partner to find their own representation to feel comfortable with the terms of the agreement and know what questions they need to ask before signing.
Present Your Assets in a Transparent Manner
You should be prepared to disclose up to three years worth of tax returns and income statements demonstrating your earnings, in addition to documentation proving the value of certain assets, whether that’s real property, businesses, or retirement or investment accounts. While you may be tempted to hide or obscure certain elements, disclosing your net worth in a transparent manner ensures you’re starting this new union off on the right foot and eliminates any issues about your honesty and intentions if the prenuptial agreement is contested down the line.
Protect Any Agreements from a Past Marriage
If you are paying child support or alimony from a former marriage, you will want to be sure that you are protecting those arrangements in your prenuptial agreement. Be sure to include these obligations in your prenuptial agreement so that your new partner understands that anything they may be entitled to will not affect this prior agreement.
Hire Our Irvine Family Law Attorneys
If you’re considering entering into a prenuptial agreement that both protects your assets and keeps your marriage on the right track, contact our offices today. Our Irvine family law attorneys are eager to work with you on creating an agreement that makes both you and your future spouse feel comfortable and at ease about the road ahead.