For thousands of couples across the great state of California, the unfair stigma surrounding prenuptial agreements is finally beginning to fall away. In part, this is due to changing ideas about marriage and pragmatism about creating less painful dissolution if a relationship does not last for the rest of the couple’s lives.
However, many of the new prenuptial agreements are being drafted for couples that are not existing millionaires or heirs to significant fortunes. They are young creatives who are discovering the value that prenuptial agreement can offer. It protects not only assets but ideas from a partner’s personal debt, business ventures or even unpredictable family members.
Prenuptial agreements protect assets and individuals
One of the best-kept secrets about marriage, no matter how available the information may be, is that without proper precautions, one partner’s debt becomes both partners’ debt when they become married. This can have huge implications on the couple’s ability to both jointly or separately qualify for home or small business loans, or other forms of credit.
It is thankful that the old ideas that prenuptial agreements are only for the rich to keep each other from their old money are fading away. In truth, a prenuptial agreement is exceptionally useful even for marriages that never end in divorce.
A well-crafted agreement can ensure that your partner’s ventures do not adversely affect your own. Assume, for instance, you are both working in the creative space, and have fairly complex projects you are pursuing. Perhaps one of you is in working to independently produce a feature film, while the other has an app that he or she is developing. If one or the other of these ventures fails in spectacular enough a fashion (as they have a remarkable ability to do), the debt incurred by one partner may make it impossible for the other partner to continue his or her project because both partners are now tied up in debt.
Marital property is a grey area
Let’s try another hypothetical – you have an idea for an app, novel or game. You had the idea for many years, and used to love to talk about various possibilities for it with your spouse.
Sadly, your marriage ended, but you are finally making that thing that you had thought about for so many years! The experience of the divorce gave you motivation to finally create it, and it has just been introduced to the market.
Now, even though your divorce ended amicably, your former spouse is claiming that he or she is entitled to some of the profits from your idea – claiming that he or she contributed to helping you flesh it out while you were married, and that it should be considered marital property!
Without a prenuptial agreement, this is an all-too-possible scenario.
The right protection can strengthen your relationship
Prenuptials are far more than the “backdoor to get out of marriage.” In fact, a well-crafted agreement that takes each partner’s concerns and cares into consideration is often something that can strengthen rather than weaken a relationship. By removing many of the areas of stress that often bear down on a marriage, you can be free to focus on what really matters – each other.
If you are ready to create the perfect document for your relationship, an experienced attorney can help guide through the process and ensure that your rights remain protected.