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Finance and divorce

Although divorce rates have fallen over time, the California court system continues to deal with a substantial number of divorces each year. The average length of a marriage that is ended by divorce is eight years, and approximately two of every five first marriages end in divorce. Age is a significant predictor of divorce as more than 35 percent of men and women marrying between 20 and 24 years of age will later split up. Money is one as well, claiming the top spot among issues leading to breakups.

Although divorces involving significant assets can be complicated, a couple does not need to have lots of wealth to face financial tensions that result in divorce. Disagreements over finances can range from differing views on saving strategies to lack of restraint with credit cards. Preparations can be made before marriage as a couple discusses important money interests. This helps to ensure that both parties understand each other's financial goals and that there are no surprises related to premarital credit issues.

There can be legal implications in a second marriage for individuals who have children from a prior marriage. Approximately 60 percent of second marriages fail, and a parent might want to protect certain assets for their children. In addition to good estate planning, a parent might safeguard properties, special belongings, or other resources by using a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement could be challenged during the divorce process, especially if the party making the challenge can demonstrate that there was an element of coercion or duress in play at the time the document was signed. This is why family law attorneys will recommend that such an agreement be negotiated and executed well in advance of the wedding date.

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