A prenuptial agreement (often called a prenup) is a legally binding agreement created before marriage in which both spouses agree to certain terms that would take effect in the event of a divorce. A valid and legal prenuptial agreement could save one spouse from great financial loss after a divorce, for example, by arranging property division to protect his or her premarital assets.
A prenup is an important document that could make a divorce much easier on a couple. A prenup must, however, obey state and federal laws and contain certain elements to stand up in court. If you wish to discuss the values of a prenup or start one in California, contact the San Jose prenuptial agreement lawyers at Schoenberg Family Law Group. Call (415) 212-8023 today.
Why Choose Us for San Jose Prenuptial Agreements?
- We know family law. Debra R. Schoenberg is a certified specialist in family law with more than 35 years of experience helping clients reach their goals.
- We take a team approach. At our law firm, we involve multiple lawyers and staff members per case to efficiently address all of a client’s needs.
- We keep legal fees to a minimum. Our lawyers do their best to minimize the fees they charge for services, including while creating prenuptial agreements.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document drawn up prior to marriage. It sets rules and terms for what will happen – primarily to assets – if the couple divorces. It can preserve the nature of property in the event of a dissolution of marriage. For example, separately owned property by each spouse can remain separate rather than comingling upon marriage. A prenup can protect each spouse’s property, assets and financial worth. If the marriage fails in the future, the terms of a prenup can prevent a judge from intervening and making decisions about property division and other aspects of the divorce. It can clarify rights, protect assets, prevent one spouse from accumulating another’s debts and help a couple avoid conflict.
Do You Need a Prenup for San Jose Marriages?
Prenuptial agreements are not right for every couple. Having one, however, could give you peace of mind and confidence in the future. Creating a prenuptial agreement does not mean you anticipate divorcing your spouse. It does grant you and your spouse the right to remain in control of important assets, properties, decisions and debts. Prenups are most common among couples in California with certain factors involved in their marriages.
- High-value assets
- A disparity between both spouses’ incomes
- Previous marriages involving children
- Jointly owned or separate businesses
- A lot of credit card or other debt
- Retirement benefits and joint savings accounts
If you are unsure whether a prenuptial agreement would benefit you and your spouse, discuss your specific situation with our lawyers at Schoenberg Family Law Group. We can determine whether a prenup would benefit you. If so, we can help you work with your spouse to draft a legally binding document that protects both of your rights and that will hold up in court.
How Do You Make a Prenup in San Jose, CA?
Most prenuptial agreements contain lists of all property owned and debts owed by each spouse. Then, they break down what each spouse’s rights will be if the marriage should end in divorce. A prenup must contain certain elements to hold up in a courtroom. In California, a couple must create a legally binding document that is fair and valid under the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. A lawyer from Schoenberg Family Law Group can help you create a valid prenup in San Jose that fulfills all the requirements.
- An agreement put in writing. The courts will not honor verbal prenuptial agreements.
- Terms that do not violate state or federal laws or public policies.
- Voluntary signatures from both spouses (not under duress, force or intimidation).
- Signature from a notary.
Furthermore, a valid prenuptial agreement must come with certain steps completed by either party prior to signing. The spouse receiving the agreement must have received the other party’s complete financial information and had at least seven days to review the contract before signing. The spouse must also have had the opportunity to bring the prenuptial agreement to an attorney – a separate attorney from the one representing the other spouse. Working with a lawyer can help you and your spouse create a legally valid prenup in California. The terms of the agreement will become effective on the day of your marriage.
What Can Be Covered in a Prenup in San Jose?
Most prenuptial agreements focus on the division of property in a divorce. This is the bulk of the language, terms and information in most prenups in California. Under the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, a prenuptial contract can address several matters involving marital property. These can include how the couple will divide property and debts upon divorce or the death of one spouse, how each spouse’s will or trust will be administered, ownership over death benefits, and any other property-related terms that do not violate the law or public policy. Prenups can also contain alimony or spousal maintenance requirements if the recipient opted not to receive legal counsel before signing.
What Can’t Be Covered in a Prenup in San Jose?
It is against the law to insert some policies or requirements in a prenuptial agreement. The courts in California will not honor illegal terms in a prenup. Illegal terms may invalidate the entire agreement depending on the situation. A valid prenup cannot include certain terms or orders that go against public policy.
- Child custody
- Child financial support
- Terms that adversely affect a child
- Exploitive terms
- Unfair or unjust terms
- Requirements for one spouse to break the law
- Nonfinancial demands, such as a spouse maintaining a certain weight
- Relationship-related terms
- Provisions encouraging divorce
It is important to only include legally sound terms in your prenuptial agreement in San Jose. Otherwise, the courts may invalidate the entire document in the event of a divorce. A lawyer can help you ensure the validity of your prenup with personalized professional assistance.
Contact Schoenberg Family Law Group Today for San Jose Prenuptial Agreements
Creating a prenuptial agreement in San Jose that will protect you and/or your spouse should you divorce may take help from an attorney. You and your spouse will need to work together, draft a comprehensive list of your debts and assets, agree on the terms of the prenup, put them in writing, and ensure the legality of your final document. Your attorney can assist you with each step of the process for an effective and binding prenup. At Schoenberg Family Law Group, we also provide postnuptial agreement services. Contact our local lawyers today through our online messaging system or by calling (415) 212-8023 to discuss a prenuptial agreement in San Jose.