asset protection, assets, dissolution, Divorce, family, Marriage, pre-nup, premarital agreement, prenup, protecting your assets after marriage, protecting your assets when you divorce, why get a prenup
Raising the issue of a premarital agreement (better known as a “pre-nup”) is almost always a touchy, difficult one to have with your partner, as most people don’t believe in pre-nups. I shared the common lack of belief in pre-nups until recently. My firm belief was “If you think you will need a pre-nup, then you don’t need to marry that person” Even after becoming more educated on the subject, I still have a hard time deciding whether I would ever enter into such an agreement. However, I do have a better grasp on the subject to at least UNDERSTAND why one would choose to do so.
With the concept of marriage being completely different than it used to be, as discussed in my earlier post: “The New Fashion Trend: Marriage”, it’s easy to understand that despite the traditional notion that marriage will remain forever, it more frequently ends far before that. Unfortunately more and more people are entering into marriage for the wrong reasons (wrong reasons=anything thing other than being in love and feeling that their partner is “the one” they want to spend the rest of their life with). One of the most common “wrong reasons” is for money or other material benefit.
I mean, let’s be honest. Most of us, at least once in our lives has met a person, who-after all consideration, would be the last person we would consider “the one”. However, after considering that person’s financial stability or ability and willingness to provide us with something we want and/or need, they suddenly become slightly more appealing, even if just for a moment. While for some this appeal lasts “just for a moment”, to others, it becomes an objective; to find someone who can provide material benefits regardless of physical attraction, chemistry, bond, commonalities (hence the term “gold-digger, defined as: one whose primary interest in a relationship is material benefits).
Since California is a Community property state, generally when a couple divorces, all assets acquired during marriage are divided equally between spouses. Additionally, any property that originally belonged to one spouse that was commingled (combined) with marital property is also divided equally between spouses; this includes money made from a job/career.
Consequently, this means: if you marry a woman or man, who unbeknownst to you has no genuine interest in love or commitment, but only in what material benefits you can provide, when you divorce that person, they will likely get ½ of your assets. This is true even if their actions completely went against the notion of marriage (adultery, abuse, etc.) for the duration of your marriage.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I completely understand and agree with equal, mandatory division of assets between married couples who have devoted a significant part of their life to their marriage.
However, it’s also understandable how an individual who has spent a significant amount of time, energy, money, and other resources, building an abundant life or profitable business for themselves and/or their family would subsequently hesitate to marry someone without the security of knowing that their assets are protected, regardless of how much they are in love; these days you just never know what another’s motives are.
No matter how difficult the conversation of pre-marital agreements may be, for some it is a very important conversation to have. Otherwise, you could end up losing what you have worked so hard for, for love that was one-sided.