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Marry. Christmas.

Many unmarried couples contemplate marriage around the holidays, which is natural given the customary holiday spirit, gathering of family, and excitement for a prosperous new year.  Before you say or compel someone to say "I do," be sure to make a list and check it twice.

While it is not the most romantic of discussions, it is advisable in almost all marriages to enter into a prenuptial agreement. A common misconception is that only "rich" people should have a prenuptial agreement as a precursor to marriage. The reality is that a prenuptial agreement can define and streamline couple's rights in any socioeconomic size of marriage.  Also, with limited exceptions, the couple can make contract provisions that differ from the Family Code.  This flexibility and foreseeable future in the event of a divorce should hopefully (ironically) fortify the marriage.

Also remember that California is a "no-fault" state, meaning that once you are in a marriage, either side can get out of the marriage for no reason, and with approval from the other spouse.  Also, while infidelity may be a reason to not marry someone, its occurrence after the marriage will have no direct impact on a divorce.  

It is important for marrying couples to know and understand that they owe the other spouse a fiduciary duty during the marriage, just like a business partnership.  In fact, in California our marital fiduciary duty laws incorporate our business fiduciary duty laws.

Finally, one must always remember that California is a community property state.  Simply put, without a prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement, and with very few exceptions, property and income acquired during the marriage are community.  If you think that getting married in a non-community property state will help you if you ultimately get divorced in California, think again.  

Blogs are a lot like a lump of coal; looks good in the stocking until you dig deeper and the truth is revealed.  No worries, we at Antonyan Miranda are experts in family law, and are always here to provide you with specific advice for your particular situation.  Happy holidays!     

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Timothy Miranda