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Rombro & Manley LLP
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How will a prenup affect property division in a divorce?

No California couple enters marriage thinking about what will happen if their relationship doesn’t work out in the future. While it is not pleasant to consider the possibility of divorce at some point, it is often prudent to plan for the possibility. One way to do this is by drafting a prenuptial agreement, which is a legal contract that outlines how property division will work in the event of a divorce.

A spouse may know that a prenuptial agreement protects the assets he or she brought into a marriage, but does it protect future earnings and property? Typically, anything bought, collected, accumulated or earned after marriage is community property in this state, which means it is likely subject to division according to state laws or an agreement negotiated by the two parties.

However, a prenup can outline provisions regarding spousal support, which can reduce some money-related conflict during a divorce. While this contract does offer the ability to protect separate assets, shield business interests and reduce the chance of litigation, there are limits to what they can do. They cannot include terms related to child custody or child support.

It is important for a California spouse considering a prenup to have experienced guidance at every step. The terms of this type of agreement matter, and poorly drafted contracts may not withstand scrutiny during a divorce. Whether creating a prenuptial agreement, defending one or challenging the terms of this type of agreement, it is helpful to work with a legal ally experienced in complex property division concerns.