While prenuptial agreements are not commonplace (and post-marital agreements even rarer), they can serve important roles in every relationship. We get it. There can be some awkwardness in talking about prenuptial or post-marital agreements with your significant other, but the agreement’s usefulness in planning a marriage together cannot be understated. It is important to keep in mind that everyone who gets married (or is married) already has a prenuptial agreement – the default California laws. We can skillfully make our clients comfortable to discuss how to protect each other and build a life together.
Prenuptial (Pre-marital) Agreements.
A well drafted prenuptial agreement can clearly define and protect the assets that both spouses bring into a marriage, and delineate the assets that are to be acquired during marriage. There are two main types of a prenuptial agreement. The first type is one that does not change California’s default dissolution (divorce) laws. Such a document will not change either spouse’s rights under California law, but will instead define the assets, liabilities, responsibilities, and obligations of each spouse, and and thus make any potential dispute easier to deal with. The second type is one that purports to change the default dissolution laws of California. Such an agreement alters the default California divorce laws and can be tailored to fit a couple’s expectations. This type of agreement typically takes a longer time to draft, as the agreement will fundamentally change each spouses’ rights under state law. Depending on the facts and situation, we can recommend which type of prenuptial agreement will most suit our client’s need to prepare for a stable and happy future together.
While rare, post-marital agreements may benefit married couples in certain situations. Such an agreement can codify each spouse’s responsibilities, and define each spouse’s obligations where necessary. For example, relationships where there are children from previous marriages can benefit from such an agreement by providing clear structure to each family member’s responsibilities and obligations. Also, a post-marital agreement can help couples where it is necessary to separate various financial assets for different uses. Feel free to contact us to discuss if a post-marital agreement can be beneficial for you.