It’s never too late to protect your assets, income or property as a married person in California. Even if you’re already married, you can create a postnuptial agreement as an alternative to a prenuptial agreement. This is a post-marital legal document that can protect you financially in the event of a divorce or legal separation. Our Marin County postnuptial agreement attorneys can help you decide if this course of action is right for you, contact the Schoenberg Family Law Group today for advice and legal assistance.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract entered into by two spouses after getting married. It outlines the financial terms of a divorce or legal separation should the marriage ever come to this. It allows a couple to determine issues such as property division, alimony, debt and business ownership prior to getting divorced. This often makes it easier for the couple to work together and agree on the terms of the split.
A postnuptial agreement can make for a simpler and less expensive divorce process in the future by working out many of the financial terms of the dissolution ahead of time. A postnuptial agreement does all of the same things as a prenuptial agreement; the only differences are that it is signed after the couple has already gotten married and it goes into effect immediately rather than on the date of the marriage. Our Marin County divorce lawyers have decades of experience setting up postnuptial agreements for our clients.
Who Needs a Postnuptial Agreement?
Contrary to popular belief, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not only for the rich and famous. A postnuptial agreement can have advantages for many couples in Marin County at any income level. Anyone who has assets they wish to protect or wants to ensure their future financial stability can benefit from creating a postnuptial agreement after their marriage. A postnuptial agreement can come with a variety of benefits, such as:
- Organizing property division outside of California’s community property law, which automatically splits all marital property 50/50, regardless of what is fair to either party.
- Protecting your financial stability against any marital outcome, including keeping your separate property and collecting alimony.
- Protecting your child’s financial future by preserving money that you intend to be for your child or children – especially if they’re from a different marriage.
- Defining financial expectations for the marriage, including assets and debts, which can help facilitate open communication and prevent fights related to finances during the marriage.
- Simplifying the process if your marriage should ever end in divorce by preventing property division disagreements.
Overall, having a postnuptial agreement can give you and your spouse greater peace of mind by eliminating uncertainty about the future. It does not encourage divorce or show that you don’t believe your marriage will last; it is simply a financial safeguard for any eventuality.
What Makes a Postnuptial Agreement Enforceable in California?
For a postnuptial agreement to be enforced during a legal separation or divorce case, it must be legally sound under California law. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements come with very specific rules and requirements. For example, the agreement must be in writing and be voluntarily signed by both parties.
Before a spouse signs, he or she must have access to independent legal counsel (or have expressly waived this right). A postnup may only contain legally acceptable terms and concise language. It cannot require one person to maintain a certain weight, for example, or have any other requirements that go against public policy. It also should not contain ambiguous terms that could be interpreted in multiple ways.
Speak With an Attorney in Marin County About a Postnuptial Agreement Today
A lawyer can draft your postnuptial agreement for you to ensure that it will hold up in court. If your spouse has already given you a postnuptial agreement to sign, a lawyer can carefully review it and advise you on whether or not it should be revised before you sign. To speak to a highly experienced family law attorney in Marin County about a postnuptial agreement, contact the Schoenberg Family Law Group at (415) 275-2987 to request a consultation today.