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The many ways prenups can be useful

Anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more California couples are considering the usefulness of signing prenuptial agreements before getting married. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that sets forth how assets will be divided if the couple goes through a divorce. According to the results of a survey performed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 62% of lawyers said they'd seen an increase in the number of prenups requested.

Prenuptial agreements are popular among those whose families have significant wealth. Often, a person will be interested in a prenup due to family influence. Another major reason couples get prenups is if one partner has a business. Sometimes, that means a startup that doesn't have much value at the time of marriage but may become valuable later. People who have kids from a prior relationship may also want a prenup to protect their children's inheritance.

Prenuptial agreements can add protection should one of the spouses pass away. If a wealthy spouse dies without a prenup, the wealth may skip over the surviving spouse due to other estate planning structures already in place. With a prenup, both parties may be protected in the event of death. Prenups are also good for those who simply wish to avoid a drawn-out divorce.

With a prenuptial agreement, many of the main issues in a California divorce could be decided beforehand. An attorney with experience handling divorce cases might be able to help a couple draft a prenuptial agreement that meets their needs. Legal counsel may suggest provisions to deal with the distribution of assets or the care of the couple's children.

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