Debra A. Opri
323-746-4595
Divorce & Family Law - California
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The big step before the biggest step

Are you thinking about getting married? Have you been single for quite some time? Have you already invested many years of hard work to fulfill your California dreams?

Perhaps you're a little worried about the future. Given the fact that divorce rates are extremely high in this nation, you wouldn't be the first person to feel anxious about making such an important decision.

There's a big step many people have taken before the biggest one (marriage). Others throughout the state, including many entertainers, actors, actresses and successful athletes, have signed prenuptial agreements before tying the knot.

It might be just what you need to help alleviate your fears and provide peace of mind and security that all you've worked so hard to earn will be protected in the years to come.

What exactly is a prenuptial agreement?

Maybe you've heard the term, but have no personal experience with drafting or signing one in the past. If you are concerned about retaining separate ownership of your home, vacation property, vehicles, art collection or other assets, you might consider this type of agreement as a valuable tool to accomplishing your goals.

The following are basics that define a prenuptial agreement:

  • A signed agreement between a couple before marriage
  • Defines ownership of assets
  • Sets forth what will happen to particular assets if a divorce occurs at some point
  • Establishes property and financial rights, and can also relegate a particular debt to a specific spouse
  • Is legally binding if validly signed and uncontested (A contested contract may still be binding depending on litigation and the court's final decision.)

You're certainly not required to sign a prenuptial agreement before you get married. (In fact, if someone has already pressured you to sign one by using it as an ultimatum just before your wedding day, you may seek guidance as to determine whether the contract you signed is valid.)

Top reasons for signing a prenuptial agreement

Once you have a clear understanding of what a prenuptial agreement is, you can then begin to discern whether it's something you would find of benefit before you and the one you've chosen to spend the rest of your life with celebrate your wedding day.

There are many reasons people in your situation choose to draft and sign this type of contract. While it's true, some hesitate because they think it's unromantic, but others cite the following as benefits:

  • Protects business interests
  • Protects an inheritance
  • Protects against debt liability
  • Fully discloses and assigns assets in specific ways to avoid confusion
  • Helps prevent disputes
  • Can provide for children

These may not be the only benefits you'd gain by signing a prenuptial agreement before you get married. Since the process is highly customizable, you may have other reasons for wanting to secure a contract with your soon-to-be spouse.

No one expects you to enter marriage already presuming your relationship will some day end in divorce. However, it's understandable you'd want to take advantage of any resource available to secure the wealth, property and assets you've worked so hard in life to acquire.

It certainly doesn't mean you love your intended spouse any less, only that you want what is best for both of you and want to be prepared for any issues that may arise during the course of your marriage.

Where to seek support

If you'd like to discuss your particular situation with a skilled advocate who has successfully represented many others facing similar decisions in the past, you can contact a California family law attorney to request a consultation. An experienced attorney can provide counsel as to how to protect a business or any assets you own before getting married. He or she can also advise you concerning how best to proceed to protect the inheritance of your children from a previous marriage if that is one of your concerns.

By seeking support and maximizing options that best suit your immediate needs and future goals, you and the one you love can plan the wedding of your dreams and a lifetime of memories in the making.

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