Getting married is a milestone many California residents might consider one of the greatest highlights of their lives. Months of planning often precedes such occasions. It is not uncommon to feel a bit nervous or anxious before the big day, especially when thinking about finances. It is also not uncommon for those with high-net worth assets to want to protect their interests in case their marriages end in divorce.

Some say it is highly unromantic to talk about divorce while planning a wedding. However, a solid prenuptial plan can be a boost to a relationship if one considers its benefits. For instance, if an intended spouse is entering marriage with substantial debt in tow, a prenuptial agreement can protect the other spouse from having to assume that debt if the couple later decides to go  their separate ways.

California continues to operate under community property laws in divorce, which means the court will split all marital property 50/50 between spouses in divorce. If a person enters marriage as a business owner or with other assets he or she separately owns, those assets can be listed in a prenuptial plan to keep them from being subject to property division. A prenuptial agreement can also be used to plan for children’s inheritance when it involves future transferring of property.

In addition to protecting high-net worth assets by signing a prenuptial agreement, brides and grooms can also clarify each spouse’s rights and financial responsibility in marriage. If a marriage has already taken place, spouses may file a postnuptial agreement instead. An experienced family law attorney can review a prenuptial or postnuptial proposal and can make recommendations if any changes are warranted.