Los Angeles, CA family law attorney Joanne Ratinoff talks about who should consider getting a prenuptial agreement.
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Prenuptial agreements are handy when someone has a lot of assets to protect and wants to define and confirm that these assets are that persons separate property coming in to the marriage. Prenuptial agreements are often used by people coming into a second marriage and there are obligations related to their first marriage in terms of spousal support, child support, not really custody that’s not really relevant, but other obligations or payments to a former spouse, a stream of payments. A business interest that they have to honor and they just want it very clearly put into writing that this is the deal coming into the marriage so that the other spouse, the new spouse isn’t surprised and can’t say oh, I didn’t realize that or I didn’t know that.
Certainly, people are supposed to marry for love and affection but it sometimes as a practical matter needs to be stated I own this, this is my business, I have these obligations, and I don’t want you to be a part of it in terms of liability or otherwise. And sometimes for inheritance purposes people will do prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements. And it’s just to clarify the respective rights of the spouses in terms of their property and their income and earnings.