How do you know if a Prenuptial Agreement is right for you?
- You own a business and don’t want the business getting caught up in a divorce if the marriage does not work out.
- You recently went through a difficult and expensive divorce and want to be sure that if your next marriage fails that you won’t be tied up in expensive and lengthy court proceedings
- Your intended is significantly older (or younger) than you and at a different stage of life and career.
- There is a family trust and your parents want to be sure your eventual inheritance is protected in the event of a divorce.
- You are both older and want to assure your adult children that their inheritance is not threatened by your new marriage.
This list is not exhaustive. There are many reasons why a Prenuptial Agreement makes sense.
While we all hope our marriages are forever, the American Psychological Association reports that 40-50% of married couples divorce. And the rate is even higher for second and third marriages.
A Prenuptial Agreement can regulate, in advance, how much spousal support is paid – and for how many years. It can also provide ground rules for how newly acquired assets are allocated between spouses and whether contributions to 401(k) plans or IRAs have to be divided between the two of you.
A Prenuptial Agreement is a contract between adults. As such, it can be used to determine beforehand nearly any financial issue that may arise in a marriage so that if the marriage ends in divorce (or when it ends in death), both spouses have the comfort of knowing with some certainty what the financial implications will be.
What about Postnuptial Agreements? What are those?
A Postnuptial Agreement can cover many if not all of the same issues as a Prenuptial Agreement. The difference is you sign this agreement after you are already married.
In the past, clients have used this to allocate assets and income between them as it became clear that arguments over who was being more or less financially responsible was threatening to derail the marriage. By taking the financial issues off the table with a Postnuptial Agreement, the couple was able to focus on what they did love about each other.
Another client used a Postnuptial Agreement to give his spouse several hundred thousand dollars from the community property to “compensate” her for having spent a similar sum over the years to support his parents overseas.
So, I want a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement. How do I get started?
- It starts with a free 30 minute consultation in our office, ideally several months before the wedding in the case of a Prenuptial Agreement
- You will then sign a simple retainer agreement either hiring us to write the agreement or to review a draft created by the attorney hired by your fiancé or spouse
- You will need to prepare for us a complete listing of your current assets and liabilities that will be attached to any Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
- We will then work with you and with the other attorney to finalize the agreement and get it ready for signature – well before the wedding.
** For both Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements, it is absolutely critical that both parties be represented by an attorney. To that end, we will be happy to recommend other attorneys who can represent your fiancé or spouse.
How much does a Prenuptial or a Postnuptial Agreement cost at IrvineFamilyLawyers.com?
In all but the most complicated cases, we charge a flat fee of either:
- $5,000, if we are the attorneys creating the initial draft of the Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
- $1,500, if we are hired to review a draft agreement created by another attorney
These flat fees include review or edits of multiple drafts, as well as telephone an in-person meetings as reasonably necessary. The fees further include the services of our on-site notary, who is available to notarize the signature of the Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement.