PRENUPTIAL & POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC

If either party has significant assets accumulated prior to marriage, or wishes to protect any later-acquired assets, a properly drafted Prenuptial Agreement is a valuable tool.

How can a Prenuptial Agreement protect an individual’s assets?

A Prenuptial Agreement can provide that specified assets will remain the separate property of the spouse who owned those assets prior to marriage, regardless of whether or not additional contributions of work or money during marriage. A Prenuptial Agreement can provide that earnings or other assets accumulated during marriage that otherwise would be community property, will be characterized as the separate property of the spouse receiving these sums. A Prenuptial Agreement may specify how living expenses are to be paid or apportioned between the parties.

A Prenuptial Agreement may set forth how real estate or other assets will be acquired or titled in the future. The agreement may change the separate property of one spouse to community property. A Prenuptial Agreement should be coordinated with the parties’ estate planning experts. Frequently, a Prenuptial Agreement will provide benefits that are different in amount and nature if a party is the surviving spouse rather than a spouse involved in divorce litigation.

A premarital contract can provide for a cash payment to one spouse in the event of a divorce, in lieu of any property rights. It is possible for a Prenuptial Agreement to contain provisions waiving or limiting spousal support; however, that provision may not be enforceable at the time of dissolution depending on the circumstances of the parties.

Preparing a Nuptial Agreement in California

A Prenuptial Agreement should contain a full and complete disclosure of all assets and debts of each party. The Prenuptial Agreement should be prepared as far in advance of the potential wedding date as possible. There are certain specific time limits affecting the enforceability of a Prenuptial Agreement. Each side should be represented by competent family law counsel, who acknowledge he or she has explained to the client the meaning of the agreement including, any rights that may be waived, and that the agreement is executed without any pressure or duress.

In addition to an agreement that is entered into prior to marriage, the parties may enter into a contract for a Postnuptial Agreement. In a Prenuptial Agreement, there is no requirement that either party provide the other any consideration in exchange for the agreement. In contrast, in an agreement entered into by the parties after marriage, the Court may require that some benefit of value be conferred on a party who is giving up any rights, in order for the Postnuptial Agreement to be enforceable.

The San Diego divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC routinely represent parties in negotiating, drafting and providing advice concerning Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements. In addition, we represent clients in litigating the enforceability of these agreements.