California is a community property state. This means all tangible and intangible assets acquired during your marriage are typically divided equally between you and your soon to be ex. At Daprile-Bell Family Law Offices, we often assist clients in protecting their financial interests by creating agreements that benefit both parties before or after the marriage.

According to NerdWallet, premarital, or prenuptial agreements are legal documents that detail who gets what if you divorce. Although this may sound discouraging, it can protect both of you if the marriage dissolves. However, breakups aren’t the only reason for a prenup. If a creditor sues your spouse or if they have unpaid debts, the agreement protects specific assets by keeping them separate.

There are also other ways to keep property separate. If you enter the marriage with real estate, such as a vacation home or rental property, do not add your spouse to the title. Have an account specifically to pay the mortgage, maintenance, remodeling and upkeep. It should be in your name only.

Record your assets and know their worth the day you marry, from retirement and bank accounts to jewelry, inheritance and gifts. For individuals who own a business, having it appraised before the wedding can help determine and document its value.

Postnuptial agreements are similar to a prenup, and it is common for couples to create them after the wedding. This agreement divides assets differently than the state laws dictate in the event of a divorce or for estate planning.  Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.