People in California who have been asked by a spouse-to-be to sign a prenuptial agreement might wonder why the other person is insisting on this document. Some friends might say that the prenup should not be signed at all. However, there can be advantages to signing a prenup for both parties.
The process of creating a prenup involves talking about finances and expectations around money. People have the opportunity to discuss how they will handle these matters as a couple. If they have significant disparities in income or assets, this is the time to address how they will be handled. The couple can discuss their attitudes toward saving and spending and what types of things they would prefer to spend their money on. This is also the time to decide if certain property will remain separate. A prenup can also protect partners from the debt either may bring into the relationship.
A prenup can be created with the assistance of a mediator or as part of a collaborative process with attorneys who are trained. Whichever process is used, each person should have an attorney review the agreement. The attorney should make sure that the agreement does not violate state law and that the client understands the agreement.
If a divorce does occur, the prenuptial agreement may make the process of dividing property simpler. It is possible for the prenup to be challenged, but if it has been prepared carefully, it will be less vulnerable. For couples who do not have a prenup, property division could still be the subject of mediation. This creates a less adversarial atmosphere than litigation because mediation focuses on cooperation and mutually beneficial solutions.