Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC
Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

Do Young People Need a Prenup? For Some, the Answer is Yes

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2016 | Divorce

The millennial generation – those aged 18 to 35 -are tying the knot. For most young adults without children, a prenuptial agreement is the last thing on their minds, but depending on financial circumstances, it should be. Time magazine reports that more than half of the members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers polled saw an increase in the number of millennial prenups.

The millennials’ situation is unique in American history. As their Baby Boomer parents die off, they are set to cumulatively inherit the largest estates this country has ever seen. On the other hand, many millennials owe considerable amounts in student loans, debts for which a future spouse does not want responsibility. This tech generation has also spawned thousands of start-ups, some of which may bring in extreme wealth. Since millennials are marrying later in life than previous generations, many of them have already acquired significant assets. Will all of those financial conditions – good and bad – it makes sense for many millennials to start married life off with a pre-nuptial agreement.

Prenuptial Agreements in California

California is a community property state, and marriages are governed by the California Family Code, as well as the Probate Code. Prenups may seem a bit unromantic, but millennials increasingly see them as practical. Think of them as marriage insurance. That’s not in the sense that a prenup increases the odds of a lasting union – although it may help – but that you won’t take a particular type of financial hit should the marriage fail.

One attorney cannot represent both spouses. Any lawyer should know better, but if it happens that is the case, the prenup may be unenforceable.

What Is Not Included

Although California law allows wide latitude in what a couple can include in a “prenup,” there are certain items that are not valid. Primarily, that is anything to do with future children in the marriage. California law regarding the best interests of children in separation or divorce leaves such decisions to the courts, not the parents.

The prenup should also not mention payments made in case of divorce. California law prohibits divorce promotion, and any large payoff should one spouse want to terminate the marriage may be viewed in that light.

Contact an Attorney

If you plan to marry and would like to create a prenuptial agreement, call our firm at 916-945-2780. We are happy to answer any questions and draft the right type of agreement for your needs. Before you leave, call Steve!


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