When California couples plan for marriage, they may not want to think about divorce at the same time. This is why many avoiding mentioning prenuptial agreements. However, prenups aren't just a method of divorce planning; they are a way to come to agreements about key principles of the practical and legal relationships that accompany marriage. In addition, prenups can be useful for many people of modest or average means to determine the items that are most valuable to them.
It's important to understand that prenups can address various types of assets. For example, a business' value may be considered a marital asset. Therefore, couples may want to come to a specific agreement about how a family business will be handled in case of a divorce. This doesn't mean that the spouse who is not a partner will be cut out entirely. A prenuptial agreement could provide other types of property in case of a split. Because of the risks posed to future business potential, investors may require that co-founders secure a prenup addressing the business before sinking their cash into a startup.
Prenups can also cover issues like pets. While a court is unlikely to deal with matters like pet custody, a prenuptial agreement creates a direct contract between the parties. The spouses can come to agreements about issues that may seem easy now but could be much more difficult to iron out in the future.
Prenups should not be one-sided documents; they should reflect the interests of both spouses. When a couple is thinking about creating a prenuptial agreement, they can consult with a family law attorney. Each spouse-to-be should have his or her own counsel when negotiating an agreement that is beneficial to both parties.