The Pre and Post-Nup Valentine


The Pre and Post-Nup Valentine

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

It sure doesn’t sound like the most romantic gift in the world, however, it could ultimately be as important as having a Will or a Trust set up for the future of your family.

A prenuptial agreement must be accompanied by a full financial disclosure. Love can blind us to the reality of marriage being a business in some ways. A partnership that involves financial transactions that will impact you both for the entirety of your marriage. A lot can be learned during this process, sometimes it makes no difference, other times, it can show, for instance hidden debts that can take a financial toll on a marriage for many years, such as student loans, foreclosures and bankruptcy. You wouldn’t go into business with someone not knowing if they can get a loan… and if you plan on having a home and a family, this is as good time as any to know there may be roadblocks. Knowing is a lot better than being blindsided or feeling ‘betrayed’ by hidden truths.

Want to protect your future income? Retirement account contributions? Appreciation on your non-marital business? Then you need a prenuptial agreement.

‘I’m already married…so is it too late?’

Postnuptial agreements require many of the same elements that prenuptial agreements do. Courts generally like to see full financial disclosure, and that the agreement was entered into freely and voluntarily.

The main thing to remember with postnuptial agreements is that because there wasn’t a prenuptial agreement to begin with, many of the assets that may have been acquired during the marriage have already become “marital,” such as retirement assets, stock options that have vested and been earned during the marriage, or real estate that was purchased with earnings during the marriage. Thus, the agreement should address what’s going to happen with these already marital assets.

Both types of agreements should be as specific as possible. Spell out exactly what’s happening with assets, earnings, appreciation (active and passive) and real estate. Be clear about who is paying which bills and how. Be precise about future alimony payments – how much will they be, when will they be paid, and for how long?

It is a way to have clarification and it can often remove any fears from a spouse who may feel they don’t have a handle on the marriages financial situation. It is an odd gift, but one many feel better about having in place once it is done.

For more information and a complimentary consultation, please call The Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P.C., at 661-255-1800. Mr. Chroman is a Trusted Advisor Award Winner and named Top 100 California Attorney’s with over 20 years of experience and local service.

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