The first thing to do is go online and search “prenuptial agreements in California” and educate yourself on the issue generally. There is a lot information available online for free. The next step, should you decide you want to proceed with a prenuptial agreement, is to search for an experienced and knowledgeable prenuptial agreement attorney and set an initial consultation with that attorney, to ask further questions, establish a relationship, discuss the circumstances of the marriage and get the attorney’s basic advice.
At that point, you will need to get your future spouse on board to seriously consider a prenuptial agreement. Let them know you’ve spoken to an attorney and recommend that they speak to another one or two for possible representation, so that when serious discussions begin, they feel safe and comfortable that their interests are being protected. In my experience it can be helpful to have your attorney recommend for the other spouse to contact.
Of course, sometimes, the other party won’t be on board. I’ve spoken to couples when I knew I was going to represent the husband only, but he wanted to have his fiancée come in and listen to what I had to say about prenuptial agreements. I make certain that the fiancée understands that I won’t represent her and the purpose of the meeting is to give her the opportunity to ask questions and feel more comfortable with moving forward using another independent attorney.
The best way to approach the issue of pre-nuptial agreements depends on the circumstances and the people involved. In one instance, a future husband wanted a prenuptial agreement, but his future spouse refused to sign, and I sent them to a family therapist to talk through the issues jointly because, almost certainly, the thing that’s preventing that fiancé from agreeing to go forward with the prenuptial agreement has nothing to do with legalities. It was an emotional issue for her; a sense that the husband didn’t love her or trust her, and that’s a family counseling issue rather than a legal issue.
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