Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Nobody wants to think about the potential prospect of a divorce when you are getting married or are happily married, but the reality is that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may save spouses a lot of time, heartache, and money in the event of a divorce. If you are even considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you should contact an experienced San Diego family law attorney who understands the nuances of these contracts. With nearly 30 years of experience on which to rely, Roseline D. Feral knows how to protect your rights before, during, and after a marriage.Drafting a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are written contracts between two people who plan to be married in the near future or are already married. A prenuptial agreement, sometimes known as a premarital agreement, is a contract between two individuals who plan to get married. The agreement typically outlines the future ownership of their respective assets, should the marriage end in divorce. These may include homes, vehicles, bank accounts, business ownerships, and investment properties. A postnuptial agreement is virtually the same as a prenuptial agreement except that it is created after the marriage, rather than before, and thus may cover a broader range of assets.
These agreements are not just helpful to individuals who have a high net worth. Instead, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may be especially useful to any couple in one or more of the following situations:
- One or both spouses have children from a prior marriage and want to ensure that the children will receive certain assets or property;
- The couple wants to clarify their financial rights and avoid arguments in the event of a divorce;
- One spouse has a high net worth and wants to protect their wealth;
- One spouse is involved in a risky business venture and does not want to include the other spouse in that risk; or
- One spouse is bringing substantial debt into the marriage, and the other spouse wants to be protected from it.
California, like many other states, has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which sets forth a number of guidelines that govern how courts decide whether a prenuptial agreement is enforceable. All prenuptial agreements must be in writing and must be signed voluntarily by both parties to be valid and enforceable. These agreements do not need to be witnessed by anyone other than the couple, nor do they need to be recorded with the clerk of court.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may be modified or revoked at any time, but both parties must consent to any changes in writing. Furthermore, if a court determines that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement was made under duress, or if it is found that one spouse was forced to sign the agreement against their free will, the agreement will be deemed unlawful and thus unenforceable.
In some cases, a couple’s marriage may be legally invalid due to one or more of the following reasons: a spouse being too young, a spouse still being married to another person, or a party being mentally incapable of consenting to the marriage. In these cases, the court will typically invalidate the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement as well.Retain a San Diego Lawyer to Protect Your Interests During a Divorce
If you are considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is important to reach out to a San Diego attorney who can evaluate your situation and help protect your interests. These agreements are effective tools in managing the expectations of both spouses in the event that the marriage comes to an end. We also represent people who need a divorce lawyer in cities such as Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista. To discuss your situation in more detail with Attorney Feral, call our office at 619-232-1010, contact us online, or call her cell phone at 619-301-1191.