Some media reports have said, incorrectly, that the 10-year mark determines when California couples have to split assets equally. As I explained above, that's not the case. Assets acquired from the first day of marriage are considered community property in California, unless there's a prenup.
However, there is a presumption, divorce attorneys say, that a union that's lasted at least 10 years is a "lengthy marriage," which in California can affect spousal support. A judge may approve a longer period of alimony for a lengthy marriage and may reserve the right to change the amount of alimony for several years after the divorce. Again, that's probably not an issue when the couple has a strong prenup.
But it may be those prenups themselves that precipitate the rush to the courthouse just shy of the 10-year mark. Many prenuptial agreements include clauses that substantially increase the property settlement for unions that last at least 10 years.