Getting Married? Protect Your Rights With A Prenuptial Agreement.
While the idea of a prenuptial agreement may seem too utilitarian or unsentimental, it may in fact be beneficial to your marriage because it settles important financial concerns from the very start. This clarity allows each spouse to understand what to expect in the event that the marriage ends.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, contact the Law Office of David P. Schwarz. We can help you craft a practical agreement that meets your needs and is representative of your wishes.
What Can A Prenuptial Agreement Cover?
Prior to the beginning of their marriage, future spouses may enter into a contract known as a prenuptial agreement. In their agreement, they set forth the terms for a potential dissolution of the marriage. While the issues determined in each prenuptial agreement will vary based on the couple, some issues that are typically addressed include:
- Duration of spousal support
- Real estate such as residential homes
- Stocks and retirement funds
- Business ownership and interests
- Children from a prior marriage
- Each spouse’s individual debts
- Elderly parents in the care of one or both spouses
- Each spouse’s entitlement to collect death benefits from the other’s insurance policy
Two important exceptions are decisions about child support or child custody. An agreement may not have terms that adversely affect child support or minimize the court’s jurisdiction to determine custody and visitation arrangements at the time of or after a divorce.
Ensuring That An Agreement Is Valid And Enforceable
In California, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) governs prenuptial agreements. Under this law, for a prenuptial agreement to go into effect, the couple must actually get married. General contract law also applies to these types of agreements. Thus, they are only valid if the parties were of sound mind and legal age when the contract was formed.
Furthermore, the parties must have consented voluntarily to the terms of the prenuptial agreement. Under the seven-day rule in California, consent is not voluntary unless the party against whom the agreement is being enforced had at least seven calendar days between when the agreement was presented to them and when the agreement was signed.
In addition to these requirements, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing, fully reveal the assets and debts of each party, be fair at the time that it was drafted, have notarized signatures and not conflict with public policy.
Each spouse must be represented by their own lawyer or waive this right in writing for a prenuptial agreement to be enforced. This requirement is not met if a conflict of interest involving the attorneys exists. A family law attorney who understands the nuances of how to create a legally valid document should represent each spouse throughout this process to minimize the risks of disputes or unpredictable results in the future.
Discuss Your Prenuptial Agreement With A Family Law Attorney Today
The process of creating a prenuptial agreement may be time-consuming and complicated. If you are considering taking this step, it is important to consult with an attorney who understands the importance and implications of these documents.