California Prenuptial Agreements: Lessons from the Golden Bachelor Divorce

For fans of reality television, the announcement of the divorce of Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist from the popular ABC show, the Golden Bachelor, highlights the importance of prenuptial agreements.  This article will discuss the importance of prenuptial agreements and highlight lessons learned from this high-profile divorce with facts sourced from this New York Times article:

Use Prenuptial Agreement Discussions to Sort Out Important Life Choices

  • In the case of this Golden Bachelor couple, they seemingly had life experience, financial incentives and an inspiring television love story to help glue the marriage together.
  • So where did they go wrong?
  • Interestingly, Theresa and Gerry did have prenuptial agreements in place prior to the marriage, but apparently, they did not fully utilize the opportunity to come to a consensus on their life plan.

Prenuptial Agreements Can Be A Marriage Plan, and Not Just a Divorce Plan

  • This article advocates for greater communication prior to marriage, “When couples discuss and memorialize their intentions, whether it be to leave the workforce to raise children or grow an investment portfolio, there is less uncertainty and greater transparency.”
  • This perspective sheds new light on a prenup: Marriage is not just a romantic union, but an economic union, and in the absence of a prenup, the couple’s property will be governed by the California Family Code, which takes a community property approach to property division.

How Can I Benefit the Most From the Prenup Process?

  • One approach is to ask questions to yourself and your partner to understand where you are and where you want to go:
    • What do I want to accomplish from a prenup?
    • Have my spouse and I discussed and agreed on important life decisions?
    • Do I want to do something different than the default?
    • Does my spouse want to do something different?
    • What is motivating our decisions?
  • Some couples engage with a therapist prior to seeking legal advice, so that the therapist can facilitate a safe space for honest discussion.
  • Although each party should be represented by independent legal counsel, a benefit may be obtained by considering the process to be one of collaboration to find solutions rather than a negotiation with winners and losers.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney for Your Prenuptial Agreement Needs

At the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience in all aspects of family law, and can help you plan, understand and finalize a prenuptial agreement. We all have many years of practice in divorce, custody issues, and all family law matters. Contact us today at 707-451-4502.