Prenuptial Agreements: Growing in Popularity as Couples Acquire Assets, Marry Later

Prenuptial Agreements: Growing in Popularity as Couples Acquire Assets, Marry Later

When couples become engaged, they immediately get caught up in the excitement of showers, celebrations, site inspections and compiling a guest list. Many smart couples, however, are adding a prenuptial agreement to their wedding planning checklist.

Negotiating a prenuptial agreement may seem like a cold-blooded, unromantic thing to be doing in the midst of wedding planning because it contemplates the dissolution of that marriage before it even takes place.

The prenuptial agreement: protecting your net worth

People feel the need to protect the net worth that they have worked hard to create–it’s prudent, practical and protects the property rights of both partners. There are a few reasons why we’re seeing more prenuptial agreements today.

  • The rising age of first marriage—27 for women and 29 for men—means that both partners have had time to graduate from college and grad school, join the workforce and earn good salaries—time to buy a home, accumulate property and make investments.
  • We’re also seeing the increased divorce rate fuel the surge in prenuptial agreements. People may be getting out of long-term marriages, are older, have accumulated property and investments, received inheritances and want to protect these assets.

Be prepared for complete financial transparency

A prenuptial agreement is contingent upon both parties providing full and accurate disclosure of their assets and debts—complete transparency. Some clients feel awkward about being so practical in the midst of wedding preparations, but in reality, as they embark on a life together, they will be making many practical decisions together that will have profound effects on their lives. In some ways, negotiating the prenuptial agreement is an excellent way to begin this long-term partnership, which is, of course, what marriage is all about.

We encourage all couples who have been reluctant to get a prenuptial agreement to come in to one of our California Document Preparers offices to talk to a document specialist about a prenuptial agreement.

A further note: At California Document Preparers, we have relationships with attorneys in a range of practice areas to whom we refer our clients in situations that require legal counsel. Prenuptial agreements represent one of these situations; Ian, in our Oakland office, always urges each client in a prenuptial agreement–both bride and groom–to seek out independent attorney reviews.