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An improvement in the U.S. economy has led to higher property values and increased salaries, which have led to a larger number of prenuptial agreements. Although people in California and other states typically enter into marriage with the hopes of staying together for the long haul, life does not always work out as planned. Planning for divorce before getting married can help a person to protect his or her assets.

A prenuptial agreement is especially helpful if one person is bringing valuable assets into his or her marriage. Assets owned by one spouse before marriage are considered separate property. However, if an asset increases in value during the marriage due to the work of both spouses, this asset may be considered community property should the couple divorce. A prenuptial agreement can help to make sure that the property stays individually owned during the marriage, as well as during a divorce.

It is wise to discuss prenuptial agreements months prior to getting married. This is necessary so that both parties have plenty of time to look over and sign the agreement. This type of premarital agreement needs to feature the full disclosure of finances, including all debts, assets and income sources for both parties.

With the help of a prenuptial agreement, two people who are planning to get married in California can ensure that their assets are protected from division in the event of a divorce. Even if a couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle, a postnuptial agreement can be immensely helpful in keeping their individual assets safeguarded. In the absence of either type of agreement, a divorcing couple may still try to find common ground regarding asset and property division through divorce negotiation or mediation.

Source: newsreview.com, "For richer or for poorer", Jessica Santina, Jan. 22, 2015

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