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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023

More Couples Are Walking Down the Aisle With Pre-nups in Hand

Thanksgiving with the in-laws not go as you expected, or perhaps exactly as you expected? Are you wishing you had a pre-nup so you don’t end up a financial turkey?

Pre-nups are such a touchy subject, but they don’t have to be, according to San Diego Family Law attorneys. A pre-nup simply prompts the question: Is the marriage about love or is it about money? If the marriage is about love, then what’s the objection to being financially responsible? If it’s about the money, then clearly there is no issue, and merely a recognition that in California, a marriage is a business venture.

And it is about the money, in most divorce proceedings.

“The reality is the rights and obligations of married couples and domestic partners in the State of California is already highly regulated — one need only review the 448-page, size 8 font Family Code to begin to understand how complicated it is to be married or to be a registered domestic partner couple,” said Kelly Waggonner, partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP.  “With 50 percent of first marriages, and 67 percent of second marriages, ending in divorce, it comes as no surprise that the number of pre-nups have been trending upward over the past several years. Couples are taking full advantage of the law in order to prevent what could end up being a strenuous and pricey divorce.”

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Waggonner said there are lots of reasons to develop a pre-nup, including clarifying separate property, clarifying how an estate will be handled, clarifying how income will be handled in a marriage and clarifying twilight couples on how their respective obligations and estates will be handled upon death or infirmity.

But marriage can work, even for lawyers. The Lawyers Club of San Diego sponsored a luncheon Nov. 17, where husbands of female lawyers discussed their view of marriage and work-life balance. The presentation was a part of a collection of essays: “Sharing the Pants: Essays on Work-Life Balance By Men Married to Lawyers.” The panel was moderated by Jacquelyn Slotkin, professor at California Western School of Law. Panelists included: David Balfour, Patrick Hosey, Roger Keithly, Robert Slotkin and Matthew Spydell. Those in attendance thought it was a great discussion of issues not often enough explored by couples.

And of course there is regular attorney news, too. Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel’s very own Larry Campitiello has been elected to the board of directors of the San Diego County Bar Association, or SDCBA, for 2012.  He will serve as the North County regional representative alongside 18 other board members for a three-year term. Bob Gaglione, Richard Huver, Laura Miller and Stacie Patterson were also elected board members and will join the already distinguished members of the board. They will be installed along with 2012 President Marvin Mizell on Dec. 2 at the SDCBA’s Annual Holiday Reception. 

Fisher & Phillips LLP has added another associate to its San Diego offices, the second new attorney in the last eight months. Tim Johnson, formerly of Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman, joined the firm earlier this month. Johnson had worked in both Wood Smith’s Los Angeles and San Diego offices.

The National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms, or NAMWOLF, has named Janice Brown to its board of directors. Brown, founder and CEO of Brown Law Group, has worked with the group for the last three years.

Randy C. Frisch is the president and publisher of the San Diego Business Journal. He is licensed to practice law in California, Nevada and Idaho. He can be reached at rfrisch@sdbj.com.


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