Pre-Marital or Pre-Nuptial Agreements are becoming increasingly common. These agreements are implemented prior to marriage by couples who, for example, are entering a second marriage and want to memorialize their assets; by beneficiaries of trust funds or those who have received large inheritances; or by individuals of high net worth or business owners who are marrying someone in a lower income bracket and want to ensure their current assets are not comingled with marital assets.
In short, premarital agreements allow consenting adults to contract around California’s Family Code and determine for themselves the financial parameters of their marriage. They also serve to memorialize a party’s separate property prior to marriage so that, in the event of a divorce, there is no question as to what each party owned at the outset of the relationship. This can prevent extensive litigation and help preserve assets.
Whether our firm is drafting the premarital agreement or reviewing one that was drafted by another attorney, we provide our clients with a thorough understanding of California law and the areas in which the premarital agreement differs from the law. We explain what can and cannot be done in such an agreement and ensure that the agreement meets all the requirements to help make certain it is valid, should enforcement be necessary.
Marital or Post-Nuptial Agreements are similar to Pre-Marital agreements in nature, except they are drafted and executed during the marriage as opposed to prior to the marriage. Sometimes circumstances arise in a marriage where the parties decide they want to contract around California law. For example, they may decide that one party should be the owner of a business or a home that might otherwise be community property. As with a pre-marital agreement, marital agreements must be entered into voluntarily and with full disclosure and knowledge of the consequences of signing such an agreement. Also, proper legal procedures must be followed in order for these agreements to be valid in the event enforcement is necessary.
Should your circumstances require the drafting or review of a Pre-Marital or Marital Agreement, call the attorneys at Lewis, Warren & Setzer for a consultation. They have the expertise and experience to advise you as to a course of action based on your particular circumstances.