Premarital Agreement – I am getting married, but I am fearful about dividing my assets if I get a di
Unfortunately, in the state of California, there is a 75% divorce rate. Some experts are predicting that this rate increases over the next 5-10 years. The people who are going through a divorce are not only young people. In our practice, we see people who have been married 30 years or more, and people who have been married less than 10 years electing for divorce. We are also seeing the “young” people never get married in the first place. The young people (20-32 years old) are electing to act as a married couple, and have children, but never get married. Since we have such a high divorce rate, many people are considering premarital agreements. The true definition of a premarital agreement is one that says assets prior to marriage remain the separate property of that particular individual after divorce. Some premarital agreements also indicate the intent of the parties after marriage in regards to their assets. California courts, however, have been overturning these premarital agreements, even if the agreement follows the rule of law. If the agreement is overturned, this can subject the attorney who created the premarital agreement to liability even if the attorney did nothing wrong. This is the reason more and more attorneys are no longer creating these documents. There is a family law rule called “tracing” that traces back the ownership of an asset (usually a home), to the individual who bought it. The individual who purchased the home prior to marriage can keep it. However, without a post-nuptial agreement, any appreciated value in the home will be split amongst the parties. If you elect to get a premarital agreement, realize that a court can overturn them. You may want to consider post-nuptial agreements. Please call our office for a free phone consultation for the best option for you!