A financial agreement properly drafted by an experienced attorney certainly can protect your assets, even if you decide to reside in one of the duplexes during your marriage. The prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements are carefully scrutinized by the court, and your language must be very precise, straightforward, and unambiguous. The issue you want to think through is whether or not you want to attempt to pursue a waiver of spousal support. It would not behoove you to even think about attempting to draft the document or attempt to strike a legal agreement yourself without legal guidance; this would be a big mistake and could cause you possible financial hardship in the future.
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You need to sit down with an EXPERIENCED attorney to help you DECIDE whether you need to have a prenup. It's strange, but although you can't buy a house, or a car, or even join a gym in California without reading a LONG written contract, you can get married with NO information at all about what's in THAT contract. (Marriage is a contract, and a complicated one!)
If you want to CHANGE the contract in advance, though (and that's what a prenup does) you generally need to speak to an attorney.
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