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Estate Planning Blog

Prenup 101: The Basics of the Prenuptial Agreement in Sacramento, CA

February 11, 2012

Prenuptial agreements tend to get a lot of attention when it comes to celebrity divorces, but there are plenty of non-famous people who are opting in to this type of contract. The reasons for doing so are pretty varied, and it rarely has to do with the parties not trusting each other. As a Fair Oaks and Rancho Cordova prenup lawyer, it makes sense to share some basic fundamentals of prenuptial agreements that you should consider if you are planning to get married.

The Real Reason People Choose Prenuptial Agreements

One of the original uses for this type of agreement is one that prenup lawyers still see on a regular basis: people getting married for the second or subsequent time. When entering a second or later marriage, it’s likely that the parties involved have their own assets and possibly even children that resulted from the earlier relationship. They are often looking to make sure that those things accumulated from the first marriage will be inherited by their biological children rather than the new step-children.

For example, a widowed mother of two adult children might marry a divorced man who has a grown child of his own. Their prenuptial agreement could state that certain assets from each of their previous marriages will rightfully pass only to their biological offspring. Each of the partners may also come to the marriage with enough financial security that it is unnecessary to inherit the new spouse’s estate.

This idea has expanded as our culture has shifted to one where many people get married for the first time later in life. Each spouse may already have his or her own successful career, personally owned property, and other assets that they want to ensure remain theirs. The high divorce rate is certainly another cultural factor that comes into play, with many couples having seen well-intentioned friends end up going through painful divorces in which they lost their assets.

Will the Prenup Be Upheld?

A good prenup lawyer in Sacramento County is probably your best ally in creating a prenuptial agreement that holds up in court. In fact, it is preferable for each spouse to hire a separate lawyer to represent his or her interests. By doing this, you increase the likelihood of it being upheld later, too, as it’s less likely for one person to claim that he or she was misled. The parties need to be honest when they disclose their assets, too. If it appears that one was hiding assets from the other, this can definitely call the prenup into question.

It needs to be clear that both parties have entered into the prenup freely and with good intentions. It’s recommended to meet with your Sacramento prenup lawyer well in advance of the wedding date, as that helps to strengthen it in the eyes of the court. It needs to be signed by both partners, and all involved should know that a court will possibly overlook parts of the prenuptial agreement that attempt to lay out custody or child support agreements, as these things may need to be determined by a court following standards for what is in the best interest of the child.

Call The Chubb Law Firm today at (916) 241-9661 to review your goals and discuss your options.

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