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What is the role of a prenup in marital property division?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Division of Assets and Debts |

Getting married is also a financial commitment that warrants consideration and planning. One aspect of this planning involves knowing the process of marital property division should the marriage end in divorce.

A prenuptial agreement (prenup) can be crucial in this process. If you have a prenup and are considering filing for divorce, how can this contract impact the property division process?

Reasons for getting a prenup

In California, which follows community property laws, assets and debts obtained by a couple during their marriage are generally divided equally during a divorce. However, a prenup can alter this division in these ways:

  • Separate versus community property: It can specify which assets and debts are separate (belonging to one spouse) and which are community (belonging to both spouses).
  • Property division terms: It can set forth the terms for dividing specific assets, such as real estate, businesses or retirement accounts.

In addition, a prenup can include terms for spousal support or alimony. Further, it can clarify the financial rights and duties of each spouse and support their estate planning goals.

Requirements for a prenup

A valid prenup must be in writing, freely signed by both parties and properly executed. It should be fair to both parties at the time of signing and enforcement and must fully disclose the assets and debts of both parties.

Further, it cannot include provisions that violate public policy or criminal law. If your prenup is invalid, you can dispute it so that it will not affect your property division.

Securing your financial future

Understanding how marital property division works can give couples a sense of security and clarity. However, dealing with the complexities of family law can be challenging. With legal guidance, you may explore your options and make informed decisions about your divorce to secure your financial future.