A prenup may be a good idea for some couples in California even though they may hesitate to create one. People may worry that if they have a prenup, they will be more likely to get a divorce. They may worry that it will upset their families or about revealing personal information such as debt or bankruptcy. However, creating a prenup can improve communication and cooperation.
It may also protect business owners in case of divorce. Without a prenup, the other spouse might take a share of the company in a divorce. A prenup may also protect assets that a person brings into a marriage. If one person is prone to bad money decisions or running up debt, the prenup can prevent the other spouse from having to take on those debts if there is a divorce. Some couples use a prenup to specify who will get the pets in a divorce.
A prenup can also be used to establish guidelines for alimony. This can be important if one person has a much higher income than the other. If there are children, one parent may stay home with them. This can affect that parent's earning power and ability to return to the workforce. Child support usually ends when a child is no longer a minor, but that parent may want spousal support for longer.
Prenuptial agreements can make the process of divorce less difficult, but without one, a couple may still be able to negotiate an agreement for property division. In California, most assets are considered shared property if either person acquired them after the marriage, and they are supposed to be split equally. However, in negotiations, the couple may reach an agreement that is more flexible. For example, instead of splitting all the assets 50/50, one may keep the retirement account while the other keeps the home.