Prenuptial Agreement Law in California
Prenuptial Contract Law
Upon entering into a new marriage in California, there are a number of things couples should consider, the benefits of drafting a prenuptial agreement is one of them. There is no shame in taking the necessary steps to protect your assets before getting married. You work hard for your money and to build your life, it is your right to safeguard your finances. Especially, if you are a business owner, you have considerable assets prior to marriage, as well as if it is not your first marriage, you should consider the wisdom of protecting yourself and your and your beloved’s financial future with a prenuptial agreement. Whether you are getting married in, or you want to challenge the terms of a prenuptial agreement, don’t hesitate to get legal help. Contact San Diego Biz Law today at (619) 793-4827 to discuss your case with knowledgeable Preunp lawyers who understand your family and financial needs.
A “prenup,” the common name of a prenuptial agreement, is a legal contract between two people about to get married that plans ahead how the couple’s assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. Prenuptial agreements are especially used in the context of a divorce or legal separation when the couple is dividing up their property. A prenuptial agreement, however, does not have to be viewed as a matter of distrust or discontent. Rather, it should be considered an equitable merger between two individuals who love one another and who want to protect their finances. Additionally, think how an agreement entered while in love can save you pain and nasty litigation if things, unfortunately, fall apart. Our legal team at San Diego Biz Law has extensive experience drafting and reviewing prenuptial agreements in California, and can also argue the validity of a prenuptial agreement in court for divorced or divorcing clients who want to uphold or contest an existing agreement. Our family law attorneys understand that no two marriages are alike and we will treat your case with the respect and careful attention to detail it deserves.
Understanding What a Prenuptial Contract Means for You
For many couples in California, a prenuptial agreement is a smart way for individuals with a considerable net worth or significant property to protect their premarital assets and plan for any unexpected issues in the future, such as divorce or death. Most people who opt for a prenuptial agreement simply want to avoid losing their property or assets in a divorce. Under the state of California’s community property provision, all assets and debts (with exceptions such as non-comingled inheritances) acquired in marriage belong to both spouses equally and must therefore be divided 50-50 in divorce. If a couple decides they want to handle their property division differently, they can make this known in a prenuptial agreement.
In California, prenuptial agreements provisions can vary, but the most common provide for the division of the property, both community and separate, determining the rights of the spouses with regard to it (such as the right to buy and sell, lease, or mortgage real estate); others also provide for the payment of alimony or spousal support. A spouse, with a prenuptial agreement, can even agree that the spouse entitled to spousal support after a divorce will legally relinquish his or her right. In other cases, the couple may foresee particular conditions such as forfeiture of assets if a marriage ends on the grounds of infidelity, further conditions of guardianship, or a requirement of confidentiality, post-divorce. A prenuptial agreement is an effective instrument to set ground rules regarding a couple’s present and future property rights and other important marital matters. The only subject beyond the reach of a prenuptial is child custody, parental visitation rights, and child support to which the court has the last say. A Prenuptial agreement, however, can do what the law cannot. The law allows a spouse to cheat on you in a marriage, then take half of your qualifying assets, force you to sell the house, and even have to pay her or his lawyer fees. In a Prenuptial Agreement, you can make allowances for issues such as cheating.
How to Prepare a Prenuptial Agreement in California
It is very important to consider that prenuptial agreements do not mean that spouses are attempting to withhold assets from one another in the event of a divorce. Rather, it is a valid instrument designed to control the outcome of any potential dispute, to de-escalate, and often avoid the disputes that arise in case of a divorce. It is the best way to protect the finances of everyone involved.
Circumstances and contents of a prenuptial agreement may vary, but certain criteria must be respected in order to form a valid Prenup. California follows California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which – of course - prescribes that the agreement is signed by both parties, but in order to be considered valid and enforceable in court, the contract must:
- Be in writing;
- Be substantially fair when entered into;
- Be notarized;
- Have full disclosure of the assets and debts of each; and
- Cannot be against public policy.
- The other spouse must have been granted at least seven days to consult an attorney before signing the contract.
Why you should retain an Experienced Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that can significantly affect your financial future should your marriage end in death or divorce. Prenups are complex and sophisticated documents. Prenuptial agreements are delicate not solely for their legal effects, but also in consideration of the situation surrounding the parties who are entering them. Having an expert negotiator and attorney on your side, who knows the relevant divorce codes and the intricacies of the California legal system is essential. Our attorneys at San Diego Biz Law can help you draft a prenuptial agreement to protect your premarital assets, review an agreement you are preparing to sign or represent your case in upholding or challenging a prenuptial agreement in court. Call us now at (619) 793-4827.