Prenuptial Agreement for Same-Sex Couples
Same-sex couples in California have finally been redeemed of the right to marry, and with federal benefits to boot! If you are in a committed same-sex relationship with the one you want to marry, you can now start planning your wedding. Part of this wedding planning must include a prenuptial agreement. Having a prenup in place prior to your nuptials is arguably even more important for same-sex couples than for the everyday heterosexual couple. Many same-sex couples have been in an established relationship for many years, unable to legally marry. Substantial financial detritus, either good or bad may exist; owned real property, debts, liabilities, children, and the list goes on. A prenup is your way to address these items and facets of your lives. Establishing certainty between yourself and your partner now will strengthen your relationship and protect you both. Also, because only 13 states currently recognize same-sex marriage, if you and your husband or bride-to-be end up moving to a non-recognition state a prenup will prevent a potential legal mess if the marriage were to end. Don’t think of a prenup as planning for divorce, think of it as planning for your marriage. Use it as a tool to strengthen the communication, understanding, and underlying bond of your relationship. Transparency is the key to longevity and happiness.
At Heath-Newton we have been assisting our LGBT clients with marriage planning for years. Though same-sex marriage is newly legal (again) in California, we have prepared a surfeit of Pre-Registration Agreements (i.e., a prenup prior to entering into a California Registered Domestic Partnership). These were much more complicated than a same-sex prenup due to the need to address the negative implications of DOMA (which are no longer) and various potential tax repercussions. For more information on how we can assist you with taking this step, or just to have a few preliminary questions answered, first review this article written by Heath-Newton associate Lilah Sutphen, then pick up the phone and give us a call.