A prenuptial agreement is a smart and effective way to protect your hard-earned assets before you enter into a marriage contract. A prenup is a legally binding agreement that determines how you and your spouse will arrange the terms of a divorce should your marriage end. It is not a sign of one spouse having no faith in the relationship or the other spouse. It is a legal way to protect yourself and have peace of mind on your wedding day.
Prenuptial agreements can be complicated. You must follow certain requirements to have a valid contract in California. Contact the Marin prenuptial agreement lawyers at Schoenberg Family Law Group for professional assistance with a prenuptial agreement. We are the best when it comes to all family law cases in Marin County.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract two people enter into before they marry. It decides how a divorce will go should the relationship end. It is not a divorce contract and does not mean the couple plans on divorcing in the future. It protects the rights of one or both parties in the event of a dissolution of marriage. If the couple does divorce after signing a prenuptial agreement, the terms of the contract will automatically go into effect.
Prenups are most common among couples with complex or high-value assets they wish to protect, especially if one partner, rather than both, have valuable assets. A prenuptial agreement may be something you need if you are entering into a marriage in California with significant income, for example, and you wish to protect what you have from the state’s community property law during a divorce. This law divides all community property 50/50.
How Do You Make a Prenup?
To create a valid prenuptial agreement in the state of California, you and your spouse must sign a written contract. A court will not uphold a verbal prenuptial agreement in California. You must adhere to the rules of California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. This law requires a prenuptial agreement to contain only lawful terms. It needs a signature from a notary, as well as voluntarily signatures from both spouses. This means without any duress, fraud, coercion or other issues forcing the spouse to sign. The spouse receiving the prenup legally has seven days to seek independent legal advice before signing.
What Can Be Covered in a Prenup in Marin?
Most prenuptial agreements focus on finances. In California, a prenup can cover the topics of property division, alimony, separate and community properties, assets, bank accounts, financial interests, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, income and earnings, real estate, and debts. It can also devise rules for creating a will or trust, dividing death benefits among beneficiaries, and handling a life insurance policy payout.
What Can’t Be Covered in a Prenup in Marin?
A spouse cannot legally put certain things into a prenuptial contract. The law does not permit prenuptial agreements to include language regarding a spouse’s personal choices, for example, such as demanding a spouse to maintain a certain weight, produce boys or a specific number of kids, or make a minimum amount of money during the marriage. These are illegal terms that a court will not uphold during a prenuptial agreement case.
The courts also will not uphold any terms regarding the children of a marriage, including prenuptial custody arrangements or child support amounts. Since these matters involve the best interests of children, the courts will look at them objectively regardless of related language in a prenuptial contract. A judge will determine child custody and support based on the facts of the case, including the needs of the children and the incomes of both parents at the time of divorce.
Contact Our Marin Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers Today
Discuss whether a prenup is something you and your spouse could benefit from before getting married. If you decide you want this type of contract after you are already married, you can arrange a postnuptial agreement instead. The lawyers at Schoenberg Family Law Group assist clients with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Marin, California. Contact us for help with your prenuptial agreement today.