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AttorneyTom
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Good day, I recently started my own company (a California

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Good day,
I recently started my own company (a California LLC). I'm getting ready to propose to my girlfriend. I know from previous conversations over the years she will FLIP OUT if I try and get her to sign a prenuptial agreement. My question is what can I do to protect my recent investment (california corporation llc)... I doubt it will happen, but if things don't work out I don't want to be "taken to the cleaners". What can I do - without having a prenuptial agreement to insure I won't loose what i'm building - if she should decide to leave at some point?
Submitted: 6 years ago via USmarriagelaws.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 6 years ago.




Thank you for your question.


Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are often key in properly protecting the interests of marrying couples. While some spouses may not appreciate the idea of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it's something most have to learn to accept or the other spouse will often need to do without some degree of protection in the marital relationship.


In some situations, a spouse may place assets in a trust to protect those assets. Trusts can also affect taxes and liability. However, a revocable trust may not provide any protection in a divorce, while an irrevocable trust may. An irrevocable trust may limit a spouse's access and ability to control his assets, potentially complicating the matter further. That said, your attorney may be able to assist you with setting up a trust and structuring your business to maximize your protections but, ultimately, as you can see, there are positives and negatives to that approach.

Transmutation agreements can also be used to separate community assets.

In any case, it's worth noting that property brought into a marriage is typically separate property belonging to the spouse who brought it in. However, problems arise when the property is commingled. Therefore, it's important to have your attorney review and evaluate your assets so that your attorney can advise you as to how you might best keep that property separate, avoid commingling it, and otherwise protect your assets.

While I can control the quality of an answer, my control over the content of an answer is restrained by the truth. Please do not shoot the messenger. If you need clarification, please feel free to ask using the Reply feature.



Sincerely,


_____________________________________

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
More specifically and keeping in mind that future spouse is not in anyway a part of the newly formed California LLC, have access to the LLC's assets? It's a single member LLC and I'm the controlling member. Or would my future spouse only have access or potential rights to My personal assets (salary, home, cars, etc).
If the Limited Liability Corporation makes purchases (Vehicles, CD's, other investments) I want to minimize my spouses ability to go after those assets if possible (without an agreement).
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 6 years ago.




Thank you for your follow-up.


It's important to remember that a business that an individual owns is an asset belonging to that individual. While a business brought into a marriage is separate property, the increased value of the business may constitute marital property subject to distribution in divorce. This is because earnings and assets acquired during a marriage are typically marital property subject to distribution in a divorce. Accordingly, in this way, a spouse can claim a portion of another spouse's business.

Again, there are other ways to protect assets (like a trust, for example) without a prenup, but such actions also have costs and benefits and their application really depends heavily on the detailed circumstances of the parties involved. However, it's also worth noting that a spouse may not be properly protected without (or even with) a prenup. Protecting assets can be a complicated matter and you're going to want to sit down with your attorney for a thorough evaluation of your circumstances so that you can weigh the costs and benefits of various activities. Ultimately, your attorney may urge you to seek a prenup, though you may discover other methods of protecting your assets with which you may be more satisfied. Alternatively, you may wish to use multiple methods of protecting your assets after consulting your attorney.


While I can control the quality of an answer, my control over the content of an answer is restrained by the truth. Please do not shoot the messenger. If you need clarification, please feel free to ask using the Reply feature.



Sincerely,


_____________________________________

Disclaimer: By engaging in this correspondence, you agree to and understand the following:
No attorney-client relationship is formed through this correspondence. The following information is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice/legal services. Correspondence through JustAnswer is visible to the public and is not confidential.Customeris not familiar with your situation and could not possibly provide legal advice/legal services through JustAnswer. Customerdoes not claim to be licensed to practice law in your state. The information provided in this correspondence cannot and should not be relied on for legal purposes.
If you need legal advice/services you should visit a local attorney as soon as possible. You can find a local attorney at
Lawyers.com, Martindale, a Local Lawyer Referral Service, or a Local Legal Clinic (if you cannot afford an attorney).

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