Before marriage, our citizens ought to be better informed of the legal consequences of getting married. Some years ago, and it might still be true, there was an Orange County program of law lessons for each school grade. School administrators forbid lessons on marriage laws for high school seniors because it promoted “divorce.”

Years ago, the legislature passed a law requiring premarital agreements when Jerry Brown was governor. He vetoed it because it was “not romantic.”

Requirement for premarital agreements should be developed, along with sample forms and educational materials to properly educate the citizens of this State.

We feel the State should require individuals entering into a marriage create a written marriage contract regarding property, earnings and children:

1. Marriage and its termination have considerable consequences to the taxpayers of this state.

2. Parties to marriage have an interest in defining their rights and responsibilities so that one spouse who is employed solely as manager of the marital household is adequately compensated for that work.

3. Society has an important interest in early childhood development during the time when parental care is of primary importance.

A marriage contract shall include:

1. Explanation of property rights with definitions of community and how community property may be converted to separate.

2. Explanation of separate property and how separate property may be converted to community property.

3. A plan to monetize the investment of time one spouse may contribute to the career of the other spouse, to the detriment of one’s own career, and to the nurturing of children.

4. A plan for joint parenting if the couple has children, including a plan to arrange a parenting plan in case the couple separates; they shall secure the services of a children’s advocate to develop a plan in the best interests of the children should they be unable to agree between themselves.

5. An understanding that problems will arise between themselves, and acknowledgment that assistance to resolve problems is available through mediation to stay married or through individual and joint therapy.

Legislation Links:

Proposed Amendment to Family Code: PDF File

References re rationale for legislation: PDF File

Our Principles

Some Thoughts