There’s no way around the fact that, when it comes to pre-matrimonial activities, putting together a prenuptial agreement does not rank up there with bending down on one knee with a ring or picking out a wedding venue when it comes to romance. And many soon-to-be spouses avoid even mentioning the concept of a prenuptial agreement for fear of seeming unromantic during what is often the most romantic time of a couple’s relationship.
Frankly, anyone who thinks that prenuptial agreements are not romantic is probably right; they are a contingency plan for protecting both spouses if you happen to be one of the thousands of couples who get divorced each day in the US. But, in the same way, buying term life insurance to provide protection for your family or creating a will when you are young to make sure your estate is properly handled upon your death might not seem optimistic or rosy, those are smart steps to take to prepare for the worst. Thus, the question is not so much whether prenups are unromantic, but whether they are smart.
Not Having a Prenuptial Will Not Prevent a Divorce
Talk to anyone who has been married for any significant time, and they will tell you that marriage is work. Both spouses have to continuously put in the effort to make the marriage work, long after the fresh romance of the engagement period is past, and even then that work may not be enough. This is the case whether or not you have a prenuptial agreement, so simply avoiding having a prenuptial agreement will not prevent the possibility of irreconcilable differences and other marriage-ending issues from arising in your marriage.
When those issues do arise and the spouses decide it is in their best interests to divorce, then all of the property, spousal support, and other financial issues that accompany a divorce which were not worked out in a prenuptial agreement will still need to be worked out. The difference, however, is that, without a prenuptial agreement, divorcing spouses will have to work out these all issues at the same time their relationship is ending, which adds high levels of stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear which can make reaching a mutually beneficial agreement both costly and often impossible.
Prenuptial Agreements Give Both Spouses Assurances About the Future
Going back to the term life insurance example, let’s say you buy a 10-year term life insurance policy when you are 35. Of course, you do not want to die before you are 45, but by purchasing the life insurance, your family has an assurance during those ten years that, if that unfortunate event does come to pass, they will know that they are taken care of financially per the terms of the policy.
Applying the analogy to a marriage, creating a prenuptial agreement by no means indicates that you want to get divorced down the line, only that both spouses can have assurances regarding their financial future should that come to pass. Rather than leaving each spouse’s financial futures up to the uncertainty of how a judge presiding in a state court (which could be in any state you might later move to, meaning there is a whole range of state divorce laws that could apply to you in the future) will decide you both should be treated, you and your spouse can work together in a mutually beneficial manner to make sure that each spouse can know exactly how they will fare financially should a divorce happen at some time down the road.
Save Future Costs Now
In addition, prenuptial agreements can drastically reduce the legal costs you both might face in a protracted divorce case as well as reduce the drama and tension, as these issues will already have been worked out beforehand. So while prenuptial agreements may never be considered “romantic,” they can provide the basis for a secure, stable future for both spouses, regardless of what happens in the future.
Get Answers to Your California Prenuptial Agreement Questions
To schedule a consultation regarding any questions about prenuptial agreements, contact one of the family law attorneys at Kearney Baker.