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Exploring prenuptial agreements for students

Many couples in California prefer to exchange "I dos" during the more relaxed days of summer. College and grad students, however, tend to swap vows during the first few weeks of the new year when they have some time between semesters and other obligations. While many younger couples may have an assortment of things on their pre-marriage to-do list, a prenuptial agreement might not be one of them. Still, it's a document that can provide added security and peace of mind.

It should be noted that jointly signing a prenup doesn't automatically mean a marriage will end in divorce. What a prenuptial agreement normally does is handle the distribution and separation of assets in the event of a split. However, some student couples may be hesitant to consider a prenup since their future income stream is often unknown and they may have very few assets.

In that regard, a prenup can be structured in a way that addresses how both current and future assets would be handled during a divorce. This type of document can also include language that dictates responsibility for debt - including any lingering student loan debt that may still exist if a divorce occurs. Also, a prenup may make it easier for a younger couple to have productive discussions with their parents about what assets are in their name and what their debt situation looks like. The distribution and control of estates can also be covered in a prenuptial agreement, although younger couples sometimes waive this right to protect other family members.

A prenuptial agreement should be negotiated and signed well in advance of the wedding in order to forestall a potential claim by one of the parties of coercion. Each party should have separate counsel as well.

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Law Offices of Catherine A. Schwartz
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Riverside, CA 92506

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