Same-Sex Couples Navigate Prenuptial Waters
For the first time, the LGBTQ community is discovering the potential financial consequences of divorce. Of course, no couple is inclined to consider the consequences of divorce before getting married. On the other hand, it is increasingly important that couples educate themselves about their rights.
A few examples of those rights are:
- Access to “family only” services
- Authority to make spousal medical decisions
- Spousal inheritance
- Employment benefits
- Adoption rights
Right To Prenuptial Agreements
In addition to the rights mentioned above, same-sex couples in California are also beginning to utilize the right to enter into a same-sex prenuptial agreement. While any couple has the right to enter into a prenuptial agreement, most couples choose not to exercise this right. This is because prenuptial agreements are generally seen as indicative of the end of a marriage before it begins. Additionally, prenuptial agreements are considered only applicable to the super-wealthy, a viewpoint that is quickly becoming outdated. No matter how much or how little money you have, it is all that you have and your life depends on it.
Couples should remember that a prenuptial agreement protects their individual rights beyond solely securing their financial future. A prenuptial agreement may proscribe a process for dividing property and finances, but it can also govern the dissolution of a marriage in the case of fault of one part.
Benefits Of A Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements are not only meant to protect finances; they are meant to provide certainties over the future. In fact, prenuptial agreements can also dictate what will happen if one spouse dies. Studies suggest that couples with prenuptial agreements in California have stronger relationships because there is no uncertainty as to what will happen in the case of divorce or death. Additionally, prenuptial agreements force couples to face and discuss complicated topics that they may have avoided discussing without such a contract.
Drafting A Prenuptial Agreement
It is important to contact an attorney with experience writing prenuptial agreements that hold up in court. A prenuptial agreement cannot be deemed enforceable if neither party can actually rely upon the agreements made prior to marriage.
If you are considering marrying your same-sex partner, you should consult an attorney that specializes in same-sex prenuptial agreements. The attorneys at San Diego Biz Law have experience drafting same-sex prenuptial agreements and are ready to ensure that your rights are protected.
Why A Prenuptial Agreement May Be Your Best Choice
Same-sex couples have a lower divorce rate than heterosexual couples, with the average divorce rate being 1.1%. On the other hand, same-sex divorces obviously happen, which is why a growing number of same-sex partners are choosing to enter into a prenuptial agreement – especially as a lot more may be at stake. Same-sex couples often have much more in terms of disposable income than non-same-sex couples.
Same-Sex Couples Are More Likely to Have Considerable Assets
The primary reason for entering into a prenuptial agreement in California is to protect your assets. Because same-sex marriages were and still are restricted in some states, same-sex couples in California often become married later in life when they may already have considerable assets, including:
Why Your Prenuptial Agreement May Be Invalid
As with any other contract, a prenuptial agreement must be legally sound. Common prenuptial agreements’ defects are:
- Written form. Your agreement must be in writing to be enforceable
- Pressure on one party. If one spouse was pressured (although not coerced) to enter into the agreement by someone it may not be legal; it does not matter whether the person pressuring the spouse is not the partner or someone acting in the partner’s interest and/or with their knowledge.
- Improper execution. The agreement must be signed by both parties prior to the marriage for it to be valid
- Invalid provisions. A prenuptial agreement can cover almost every aspect of the relationship, but it cannot determine issues such as child support and it cannot violate the law
- Incorrect information. Income, liabilities, and assets of both spouses must be fully disclosed in order for the agreement to be valid
- Lack of independent counsel. Both spouses are individuals with separate interests, each spouse must have their own attorney for the agreement to be enforceable.
If you are considering entering into a same-sex marriage with a prenuptial agreement in California, your spouse proposed one to you or are disputing an existing one, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney at San Diego Biz Law APC to protect both your current and future interests.
To speak with one of our Prenuptial Agreement attorneys today, call 619-793-4827.