Prenuptial Agreements Are A Common Step
A prenuptial agreement can help you maintain a more equitable union with your spouse. It’s no surprise that they’re more popular than ever. Despite stigmas, they’re becoming a perfectly normal part of the marriage process.
At Smith Family Law, APC, our San Diego prenuptial agreement lawyers can help you draft a comprehensive prenup for your marriage.
What Can You Include In Your California Prenup?
Since 1988, California has used the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act to help spouses draft legally binding marital agreements.
To draft a legally binding prenup in California:
- Both parties must completely disclose their separate property holdings (including assets and liabilities) to each other prior to signing the agreement;
- Each spouse must have at least seven days to review the terms of the prenup;
- Both spouses must secure their own legal counsel — the same attorney cannot help both spouses;
- Both spouses must have received the full terms of the prenup, in writing; and
- Both spouses must be able to acknowledge that they understand the terms of the proposed prenuptial agreement.
You can use a prenup to determine what assets and liabilities you would like to keep separate during your marriage, and what property you and your spouse will consider marital. Additionally, your prenup can contain terms for the division of marital property in the event of a divorce. This can help couples arrange a more equitable division of property than they may otherwise receive under California’s community property laws, which divide marital property equally between parties in the event of a divorce.
Prenups can also be used to waive the spousal support obligation a party would have in the event of a divorce.
Prenups cannot be used to set terms for child support or custody. If you wish to form an agreement for child support and custody during a divorce, you should instead consider drafting a marital settlement agreement.
Can A Court Refuse To Honor A Prenup?
Courts can invalidate a prenup for any of the following reasons:
- The parties failed to comply with the requirements listed earlier when drafting the prenup.
- One party coerced the other into signing the prenup.
- One party committed fraud during the development of the prenup (such as failing to disclose their assets properly).
- The terms of the prenup are “unconscionable” (for example, the prenup waives spousal support, but one party will be homeless or destitute without receiving said support post-divorce).
Prenuptial agreements are a wonderful tool to help parties maintain an equitable marriage and ensure that they’re on the same page before taking the leap and tying the knot.