Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Planning for Your Family | Your Future
In California, under Community Property laws, both parties enter a marriage (or a registered domestic partnership) with “separate” property – basically, things you owned before the union. Throughout the marriage, the parties will acquire certain “marital property” of which each has 50/50 ownership rights under California’s laws regarding community property.
A prenuptial (or “pre-marital”) agreement is a contract that a couple enters into before they become married, allowing them to “opt out” of California community property law, should they wish. It also allows the parties to decide how property acquired during their marriage is to be characterized. Sometimes couples will create a similar agreement after they marry, referred to as a “post-marital” agreement.
Some Reasons Why People Choose to Create a PreNup or PostNup Agreement
A Prenuptial Agreement May Protect Not Only Your Money, But Also Your Kids
Since, unfortunately, a high percentage of marriages end in divorce, a premarital agreement may help to avoid long, pricey, divorce litigation surrounding asset characterization. These agreements also aid in family’s asset protection and estate planning goals. This becomes especially important for business owners, those entering second marriages, people with children from previous relationships, and for high net-worth individuals.
Can’t We Just Do It Ourselves?
You can, but you probably should not. The success of a premarital agreement is based on the intricacies of the document and the laws governing these contracts. If the agreement isn’t drafted properly, or if it doesn’t follow the proper rules, it can fail by being declared unenforceable by the court.
The Law Offices of Norbert U. Frost assists with advice and preparation of pre-marital and post-marital agreements by working closely with you to properly identify your goals, analyze your circumstances, and guide you to make the best choice.