As you plan for your wedding, you may not be thinking about a prenuptial agreement (also known as prenup). However, if you possess assets, inheritance or have been previously married, you may be contemplating whether a prenup is a good step to consider.
Each state, such as California, has established regulations that govern prenuptial agreements and their composition. If you require assistance in managing your financial affairs before marriage, it may be beneficial to seek the guidance of a family law lawyer before signing marital document.
At Sands Law Group, our affordable lawyers in Los Angeles will assist you during the process and offer payment plans that will fit you financial situation. Our family attorneys in California walking you through legal terminologies, assessing you assets and formalizing documents in your name. We have an impressive track record of obtaining the results our clients want in a timely and effective. Representing individuals, families, and businesses California and Ventura County, we are here to help you navigate your legal issue with compassion, experience, and unparalleled skill. Contact us or call at 213-788-4412 today for a confidential consultation about your case.
California’s Prenuptial Agreement Law
Since 1986, California prenuptial agreements have been subject to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA). This legislation stipulates that written prenuptial agreements, signed by both parties in anticipation of marriage, become effective upon the couple’s marriage. The agreement can address the couple’s current and future property rights and other aspects related to the marriage. However, it cannot impair a child’s right to receive child support or limit a court’s authority to oversee child custody and visitation after the marriage.
In addition, after the prenuptial agreement is drafted, each party must be granted a minimum of one week to seek advice from their own legal counsel before signing. Once both parties sign the agreement, a notary must also sign it to ensure its full legal validity.
California’s Prenup Agreement Limitations
Similar to the various criteria that a prenuptial agreement must meet, there are several provisions that a prenup cannot contain.
The following items must not be included in a prenuptial agreement, and a court will reject the agreement if it contains any of the following:
- Provisions relating to child custody or child support
- Obligations for spousal support if the signing spouse waived their right to legal representation
- Clauses requiring a spouse to engage in unlawful activities
- Unjust, exploitative, misleading, or inequitable conditions
- Non-financial provisions, such as mandates that one spouse lose weight or modify their appearance
- Terms relating to the couple’s relationship.
Can a prenup include any terms?
The couple has the option to alter or surrender their rights to spousal support during a divorce, as long as the end outcome is not deemed “unconscionable”. The extent of what is considered unjust remains unclear, although if the circumstances were extreme – for example, if one spouse would be left impoverished while the other had plentiful means to provide support – the court would likely invalidate the agreement.
Not only can a spouse waive spousal support, but they can also come to an agreement regarding the character of separate or community property. For instance, a house owned solely by one spouse before the marriage would normally remain their separate property in the event of a divorce. However, the couple can choose to convert it to community property through mutual consent.
Moreover, spouses can reach an agreement that categorizes “community property” – such as income earned during the marriage, which would typically be divided evenly in case of a divorce – as separate property. They can also renounce inheritance rights and incorporate specific terms into a will or trust, provided that the rights of any minor children to receive support are not negatively impacted. In instances where a parent has children from a previous marriage, they may wish for their new spouse to waive inheritance rights to ensure that the assets will be transferred to the children.
Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
When each potential spouse possesses property or other assets they wish to safeguard, they may choose to waive the prenup and instead opt for a trust instead. Such assets can encompass physical property, retirement or other accounts, and more. Even if a couple decides to share some of their assets during the marriage or accumulate them, it is still advisable to have a prenup.
Creating a trust before marriage could also be a prudent move. This way, it will be apparent which assets fall under the trust and are separate. If you own a property such as a house and desire to keep it separate, ensure that you continue to only use funds acquired outside the marriage to pay for it, rather than from a joint account. This will assist in establishing later on that it is not shared property.
Should I Contact a Family Lawyer In Los Angeles?
Deciding to draft a prenup does not imply that you anticipate the relationship will terminate. It merely indicates that you acknowledge that unexpected occurrences can arise and that you wish to prepare for such eventualities.
Even if your current relationship is stable, it may be worth contemplating a prenuptial agreement. Every couple will have distinct reasons for desiring to execute a prenup. Individuals with assets before marriage, single parents, business proprietors, grandparents, and business professionals are among those who should contemplate signing a prenup. Moreover, if one or both partners carry debt, they may want to consider signing a prenup to safeguard the other person in the event of their untimely passing.
It’s undeniable that creating a prenup is a difficult and stressful time in a couple’s life. The empathetic and experienced prenup lawyer at The Sands Law Group, APLC, will work to minimize your hardship and make the transition to your new lives apart as smooth as possible. Contact our Los Angeles office today for a confidential consultation about your alimony case.
Our affordable lawyers in Los Angeles will assist you during the process and offer payment plans that will fit you financial situation. Representing individuals, families, and businesses California and Ventura County, we are here to help you navigate your legal issue with compassion, experience, and unparalleled skill. Contact us or call at 213-788-4412 today for a confidential consultation about your case.