Some Californians are taken aback when their fiancés tell them that they want to draft prenuptial agreements. However, having one may actually be smart for both parties for multiple reasons if it is drafted and negotiated correctly.

Sugggesting a prenuptial agreement does not necessarily mean that a person is planning for a marriage to end before it has even begun. Many couples use these types of agreements to clearly define and clarify the roles and responsibilities of each party during the marriage, which may help them to avoid conflicts that might otherwise occur. Prenuptial agreements also are a good way for people to learn about each other’s finances because they must fully disclose their assets and debts during their discussions.

Prenuptial agreements may be used to discuss such things as who will be responsible for paying different bills, for savings contributions and how disparities in income will be handled. Lower-earning spouses may use these agreements to negotiate protections for themselves in the event that their marriages do end. Higher-earning spouses may use them to protect their financial interest in such things as their businesses and other properties.

The process of negotiating prenuptial agreements may help the prospective spouses to get to know each other more deeply. It may also help some people to decide whether or not they truly want to get married. Prenuptial agreements do not mean that people are planning to divorce. It is simply a good idea to protect the financial interests of both parties for many people. If prenuptial agreements are not drafted correctly, divorce courts may disregard them and determine property division based upon state law.