Picture this: You’re about to marry the person of your dreams when suddenly they send over a set of documents they’d like you to sign before the wedding. Your future spouse – a high net worth individual – drafted these documents with their lawyer to detail what would happen with their wealth and assets should your marriage end in divorce. Otherwise known as a prenuptial agreement, these documents can be useful tools for both parties who are eager in ensuring that the terms of your divorce are fair and equitable.
While you may think a prenuptial agreement gets a marriage started on the wrong foot, in reality, a prenup puts you in a stellar position to negotiate. After all, isn’t it easier to make sure you are getting what you deserve should a divorce occur, when a divorce is the last thing on either of your minds? If your fiance wants you to sign a prenuptial agreement, our Irvine family law attorneys will ensure you have excellent counsel when negotiating its terms.
Negotiating the Terms of a Prenup
When it comes to writing a prenup, most attorneys will throw in many terms that are favorable to their clients as a negotiation tactic. They assume they will have to concede on some, but by including them all, the other party will think they have come out winning. When one party has the bulk of the assets, this can be especially one-sided. As the party with less power, your main goal is to ensure that there are multiple triggers for increasing the value of your marriage at separation depending on the length of your marriage, whether you had any children, and what role you assumed within the marriage. For example, if your marriage produces children and you become their primary caretaker – shirking your career in favor of raising your children on behalf of your family – then you should be able to retrieve a substantial amount of alimony if a divorce occurs.
As part of your negotiation efforts, you may also wish to consider which real property assets would be yours after the divorce. Generally speaking, any assets owned by one party before the marriage won’t be considered part of the marital property if and when the marriage ends. However, if one spouse owned the home that eventually became the family home, or if you purchased a home together during the marriage, then you should use the prenuptial agreement as an opportunity to advocate for allowing you to remain in the marital home should a divorce occur.
Otherwise, terms that you can negotiate within the prenup include a guaranteed sum of the household operating expenses, payment of attorney’s fees in the case of a divorce, reasonable expenses during said divorce, and your alimony payments.
We Are Irvine Family Law Attorneys Who Understand Your Situation
We understand that many clients are hesitant to negotiate the terms of a prenuptial agreement for fear that it will jeopardize their impending marriage. Our Irvine family law attorneys are careful to negotiate fairly so that you are entering the marriage knowing that you will be treated with respect. Contact our offices today.