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Make a premarital agreement ironclad and hope you never need it

Now that your engagement is official, you may want to pop another question to your intended about executing a prenuptial agreement. Perhaps you hesitate because you feel it may break the festive and joyous mood surrounding your impending nuptials.

Perhaps that was the prevailing attitude in the past, but these days, more California couples see the benefits of preparing for divorce while hoping it never happens. Couples take this opportunity to learn about each other's assets and liabilities along with how each of them handles financial matters.

Since money is often a source of contention in a marriage, having these discussions ahead of time could give you a leg up on other couples. However, you may want to take the time to make sure it will stand up in court -- just in case.

Making your prenup ironclad

In order to pass the scrutiny of a California court, you and your prenuptial agreement must meet the following conditions:

  • Each of you needs to have your own attorney.
  • Each of you must disclose all financial information to the other.
  • Each of you must have a minimum of seven days to review the prenup or have an attorney review it.
  • Your agreement must be in writing.
  • Each of you must sign the agreement.

The sooner the two of you begin the process, the better in order to be able to avoid any appearance of coercion or duress. This is why your prenup must meet the above legal requirements.

What can go into your prenup

The primary purpose of a prenup is to settle property issues. However, you may put in any provisions you wish as long as they don't violate public policy or law. Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to providing for children, any provisions you put into your prenuptial agreement regarding child support will more than likely not stand up in court.

Since each of you have the right to consult with an attorney, it may be a good idea to take advantage of it. You may have an attorney as involved in the process as you like. If you wish to involve an attorney in the negotiations, you may. If you simply want someone to review the agreement to make sure your rights remain protected, that would also meet the legal requirements above.

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