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How prenuptial agreements affect same-sex couples in California

Once same-sex couples received the green light to legally marry, some did so without forethought about the future. Some of these California couples tied the knot without thinking about having prenuptial agreements in place or knowing how having one would affect their marriages. Prenuptial agreements actually protect the couple, any children they may have and their assets.

All marriages end -- whether in divorce or upon the death of a spouse. In terms of divorce, a prenuptial agreement offers same-sex partners the same protections as their heterosexual counterparts. The agreement comes into play once two partners sign the document and after they actually marry. A prenuptial agreement essentially spells out who owns what and who will get what in the event of a divorce, and it can also speak to the family pet. What it can't do is specify anything to do with any children of the union in terms of child custody or child support. 

Any property the couple gets after they're married is considered to be community property in California and is divided accordingly unless a prenuptial agreement specifies otherwise. The same is true of debt. Each individual is responsible for the debt incurred as a married couple. Whether one partner is unaware of that debt is insignificant according to the law.  

When it comes to prenuptial agreements in California, it would be wise if each individual sought out his or her own legal counsel. An attorney will look over any agreement to ensure his or her client's best interests are being looked after. An attorney's input might be invaluable when it comes to the legalities of marital documents.

Source: forbes.com, "What Same-Sex Couples Should Know About Marriage Agreements Before Getting Married", John Schneider and David Auten, Accessed on Feb. 16, 2018

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