You Should Always Get a PMA, but If Any Of These Factors Apply, You MUST
This is not your first rodeo. I mean, marriage.
Statistics show that in the U.S., 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.
You own property PRIOR to the marriage that isn’t paid off.
Without a prenup, if you use community money (money you earn during marriage), to pay down mortgage, the community acquires an interest and you’ll pay big bucks to divorce lawyers to fight over the calculation of the marital interest using the complicated Moore-Marsden formula.
You are an artist, musician, writer, or any other profession where intellectual property abounds. You gotta protect that stuff!
If you own your own business. In a divorce, businesses are often valued for more than they can be sold for. In fact, even if YOU are the business, and nobody will buy your business, it can still have a value. Why does this matter? It matters because in a divorce, you are paying for ALL of the attorneys, experts, forensics, and they are NOT cheap. Typically, one side is paying one expert to value the business high. For example, my solo law practice may be valued higher than 1 million dollars, even though I am the business, and there is no way I can fetch 1 million dollars for selling my business. To counter the 1 million valuation, I would need to hire my own expert to value my business at 0. Experts are expensive, and like attorneys, you are paying PER HOUR. And this is how your simple divorce can amass $650,000 in attorneys’ and experts’ fees in a very short time.
Your fiance/fiancee does not plan to work.
California, of all the states, has one of the highest spousal support/child support obligations. You can avoid paying guideline spousal support, and instead negotiate your own.
Protect Children From Prior Marriage
You have children from a prior marriage. In a divorce, many hands are in your pot. You will want to protect your children from a prior marriage.
You or your fiance/fiancee have a lot of debt, or will be in a lot of debt.
Debt acquired during marriage is community, whether it’s your charges or theirs.
You and Spouse Have Great Discrepancy
There is a great discrepancy between you and your spouse in terms of knowledge or possession of financial wealth, rendering one of you an in-spouse or out-spouse.
These, and several other reasons, are why you need a prenup! At the very least, schedule a consultation with a family lawyer before you get married so you know what you are jumping into.