Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

Is a prenuptial agreement a good idea?

If you are a California resident happily looking forward to your upcoming wedding this summer, the last thing you want to think about is a prenuptial agreement. After all, you and your soon-to-be spouse are madly in love and can hardly wait to be married. You definitely intend to live together happily ever after. Why throw cold water on this beautiful vision with thoughts of a prenuptial agreement? Those are just for couples who do not really trust each other, right? Or only for those who are very wealthy, right? You and your love do not fit within either category.

Actually, you are wrong on both assumptions. As FindLaw explains, signing a prenuptial agreement is a good idea for any couple who wants to get their respective financial houses in order before any unforeseen problems arise. If such problems never arise, so much the better. But if they do, a prenup can save you a great number of future headaches and heartaches.

What your prenup can cover

Bringing up the idea of a prenuptial agreement to your intended in no way implies that you distrust him or her. It simply shows that you are a sensible person and believe that (s)he is, too. The prenuptial agreement that the two of you arrive at can cover virtually any financial situation that you want it to, including the following:

  • Will you maintain separate bank accounts?
  • Will you have separate credit cards for which each of you bears the responsibility for paying?
  • Will your respective 401(k) and other retirement accounts belong solely to the spouse who owns them?
  • How will you handle a family business if you start one?

What your prenup cannot cover

Just to forestall the possibility of one or both of you getting carried away, both of you need to understand that a prenuptial agreement can only deal with financial matters. It cannot deal with personal matters such as the following:

  • Who will do which household chores
  • Who will decide where the two of you go on vacation or spend Christmas and other holidays
  • Who will decide how to rear any children you have

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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