Bill and Melinda Gates are in the midst of a high-stakes divorce, and many are wondering what this will mean for their combined net worth that amounts to more than $130 billion. Because the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement, they are relying on the terms of a separation agreement to determine how they move forward with the division of their marital property. Most California couples are not faced with the prospect of dividing millions of dollars if they divorce, but it is still beneficial in many situations to have a prenuptial agreement.
Protecting wealth in the future
The intent of a prenuptial agreement is to protect the wealth and assets one brings into marriage in case of a divorce. It allows the two parties entering marriage to decide how they want to divide their marital assets and debt in case of divorce, as well as decide how they want to approach the issue of spousal support. These are issues that are important in any divorce, regardless of how much money the two parties have or what assets they wish to protect.
Having a prenup does not mean one assumes the marriage will fail. It simply means that both parties want to protect their futures in case of a contingency. It can prevent unnecessary disputes and additional costs during a divorce, streamlining the process.
It is not easy to consider what will happen in case of a divorce before even getting married. However, drafting a prenuptial agreement is a prudent course of action for all California couples getting ready to walk down the aisle. It will be helpful to navigate this process with the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.