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Same-sex couples may be thinking more about prenuptial agreements

The issue of gay marriage has been in the news a lot lately. As a growing number states wrestle with legalizing same-sex marriage, court rulings in more conservative states are striking down gay-marriage bans as unconstitutional. Here in California, the legal status of gay marriage seems mostly settled following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer.

Now that same-sex marriage is becoming not only possible but somewhat common, it is important to consider other family law issues as they apply to same-sex couples. Among these are issues like divorce, child custody and prenuptial agreements.

California is a “community property” state. The term refers to how property is divided in the event of divorce. Because many same-sex couples may be getting married later in life, each spouse has likely acquired significant personal property and assets. As such, a prenuptial agreement simply makes sense.

A prenup is essentially a road map laying out how certain property will be divided in the event of divorce. It does not mean that couples can’t combine certain assets or make purchases together after getting married. Nor does it mean that either spouse is insecure about the relationship. Rather, it is meant to protect both spouses and to make divorce easier and less contentious if it ever becomes necessary.

Although it is hard to think of divorce in the midst of the battle for marriage equality, it is a very real possibility for same-sex couples in the same way that it is for heterosexual couples. Hopefully, same-sex couples will have frank discussions about prenups and other family law issues even as they celebrate the right the wed.

Source: Liberty voice, "Same Sex Couples Need Prenuptial Agreements Too," Jim McCullaugh, Feb. 16, 2014

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