Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

Marital agreements can be a crucial part of any marriage, especially if a couple has children or high-value property. Both premarital and postmarital agreements can benefit and protect spouses if they separate or divorce in the future. An Agoura Hills marital agreements lawyer could help you draft a fair contract that protects your rights and assets.

People enter marital agreements for different purposes, but they often are designed to protect property rights, such as inheritance and ownership of business interests. These agreements also may address issues related to spousal support in the event of a divorce or separation. Having a family attorney to advise you of your rights and responsibilities under any agreement can be crucial to safeguarding your future.

Terms in Premarital and Postmarital Agreements

Premarital or prenuptial agreements are contracts that individuals sign before they get married. Alternatively,postmarital agreements are contracts that individuals sign after they are already married.  These agreements may include terms that address:

  • The ownership of specific assets upon divorce
  • The protection of the inheritance rights of children born of previous relationships
  • Safeguarding family business interests
  • The ownership of an asset that the spouses acquired during their marriage

Marital agreements also may determine whether one spouse will pay spousal support to the other upon divorce or separation and designate the amount they may have to pay. They also may provide for inheritance rights of each spouse from the other in terms of specific assets, such as bank accounts and life insurance policy benefits. With the help of a lawyer in Agoura Hills, a spouse can draft a fair marital contract that gives them some degree of certainty about their financial situation if their marriage ends.

Enforceability of Marital Contracts in Agoura Hills

Getting legal advice before entering marital agreements can be vital to their enforceability. If parties do not follow specific protocols, they risk signing an agreement that a court could invalidate in the future. For instance, a marital contract may not be enforceable if:

  • A spouse did not enter the agreement voluntarily
  • The agreement was fraudulent, in that it did not contain full and fair disclosure of assets and finances by one spouse
  • A spouse exerted undue influence on the other to sign the agreement, such as presenting the agreement immediately before the wedding
  • A spouse did not have the benefit of independent legal counsel at the time of signing the agreement and did not waive that right in writing

Generally, each spouse should consult separate legal counsel and take some time to consider the agreement before signing it. These steps are some of the essential elements for ensuring that a marital contract is wholly voluntary and enforceable.

Additionally, a spouse must have the legal capacity to enter the agreement. If a spouse is incapacitated in some way, such as by mental illness or impairment, then the contract may be invalid. An attorney in Agoura Hills could help someone prepare a valid and enforceable marital agreement.

Call an Agoura Hills Marital Agreements Attorney for Guidance

By entering a marital agreement, whether before or after marriage, you can have some certainty about your financial future. These agreements may allow you to address many of your financial concerns should you later divorce or separate from your spouse. To take advantage of this means of legal protection, contact an Agoura Hills marital agreements lawyer.

Although entering a marital contract with an intended or current spouse can be a sensitive subject, an agreement can create a level of assurance and protection for both spouses. These agreements are an acknowledgment of the fact that relationships and situations can change quickly and that parties should take steps to prepare for the unexpected.

Working with legal counsel to carry out your wishes through a marital contract can be crucial to protecting yourself and your family in the future. For help preparing your contract, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.

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