Bottom line is, no one gets married thinking they will end up divorced. Unfortunately, it happens a little more so than not.
Why? Because life happens.
Prenups have become increasingly popular due to the rise of divorce rates amongst couples. They have proven to be an important tool in protecting assets that you worked hard to earn.
However, the question of whether or not a prenuptial agreement will protect you from having to pay child support is frequently asked.
You may think that this is a far-fetched idea but it’s not. As long as there are no clear terms on how to handle children, they can become a point of contention and lead to disputes between exes.
HOW DOES A PRENUP WORK?
The Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act under California law covers prenup agreements. It states that the parties to the prenup can agree to things like:
- Right and obligations of each party in any of the property, assets, bank accounts.
- Spousal support.
- Wills, trust or other arrangements.
- Ownership rights of life insurance policy’s death benefits.
- Other matters that don’t violate public policy.
In addition, each party must:
- Be represented by separate counsel.
- Provide each other with complete information about their finances and property.
- After receiving a prenup agreement must wait a minimum of 7 days before signing it.
- Be provided full disclosure of the terms, rights and conditions of the agreement.
- It must be signed by both parties to be valid and cannot be extremely one-sided because a judge can rule against it.
While prenups pretty much cover all aspects of your finances, it cannot cover child custody or child support issues.
This can come as a shock for people, especially for high profile couples.
In the recent divorce announcement between Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, Ms. Spelling learned through her attorney that she could be sued for child support under California law despite their prenuptial agreement.
This created a whole new level of distress for her, which has taken their relationship from bad to worse in light of the fact, the couple share five children together, ranging between the ages of 4-14. The tension between the couple has mounted, especially since they’re co-parenting under the same roof and their finances are all tied together.
But people need to remember that children are not a piece of property. They are living, breathing things.
California law requires that both parents be held responsible for the support of their children. It uses a complex formula to figure out how much child support each parent will be responsible for.
Whether or not you will be taken to Court for child support depends on the laws of your state as well as whether or not your prenup agreement includes language that protects against such lawsuits.
The best thing to do is to connect with a family law attorney to discuss your options when drawing up a prenuptial agreement to see what will be beneficial to you should a divorce be inevitable in the future.