No one is perfect, nor can we see into the future. Ensuring that your rights, finances, and other key aspects of your life are fully protected is an important part of being able to sleep at night knowing that your future is taken care of, even in the most difficult situations. A postnuptial agreement can do this for you.
The key difference between a prenuptial and postnuptial contract is that this contract is signed after marriage, thereby triggering your fiduciary duties. Some couples use postnups to update existing prenuptial agreements as the dynamics and finances in a marriage change.
If you did not have time to create a prenup before you and your spouse tied the knot, or would like to make changes to an existing agreement, it is never too late to start drafting a marital agreement with an experienced attorney. Similar to a prenup, a postnuptial agreement may provide effective protection for your assets and outline what happens to your estate in the event of a divorce. Our Agoura Hills postnuptial agreements lawyers could assess your situation and determine what should be included in your marital contract.
A postnup is an agreement signed between spouses and must meet all the state legal requirements of a valid contract. The law states that these agreements must be in writing, signed, and notarized. Additionally, neither party can enter the agreement under duress or coercion, and, most importantly, there must be full and fair disclosure of all assets before signing. An attorney in Agoura Hills familiar with postnuptial agreements could explain these prerequisites.
Postnuptial agreements are important contracts that address a wide range of issues, including asset ownership. While the idea of a marriage contract can be off-putting to some, these agreements can actually help build mutual respect in a relationship by putting all the cards on the table. Some issues that a couple may include in their postnuptial agreement are:
It is important to note that regarding all issues related to children, parties cannot agree to limit a child’s right to financial support. Courts are vigilant about protecting the best interests of a child, and support guidelines are in place for that reason. Before a judge signs a final contract, they will carefully review any terms related to custody and child support. An Agoura Hills attorney could help someone prepare a postmarital contract that covers issues relevant to their situation.
During a marriage, an agreement may be modified, as long as this alteration is in writing. At any time before a final judgment of divorce, parties are free to amend these contracts, again with the requirement of full disclosure and no coercion.
If a couple has a significant change in assets or income, this may compel one party to want to modify the agreement. The party seeking modification file their request with the court and prove that there has been a “material change of circumstances”. For example, the individual who would pay alimony may lose their job and become unable to meet this obligation.
While no one expects to divorce their spouse, marriages and circumstances change. Postmarital contracts protect you and your assets in the event of these changes.
We evaluate the unique circumstances of your family and work closely with you to draft terms that are in your best interests. Whether you are creating a contract from scratch or require a professional review of one before signing, our Agoura Hills postnuptial agreements lawyers are ready to assist.
Hoffer Family Law Firm
As you know, we are now living in uncertain times. Our society has shifted in ways that were completely unexpected 3-6 months ago. As a result, our priorities and actions need to shift as well. Remember, we cannot control the wind, but we can always adjust our sails. The Courts here in Southern California are closed for the foreseeable future. The Los Angeles County courts are taking filings and are hearing emergency matters. The Ventura County Courts are hearing emergency matters but are not taking filings at all. Currently, both court systems are scheduled to re-open in mid-May; however, given the current state of affairs, it is likely that the closures will be extended.
So, how do we adjust our sails? We set you up for success for when the Courts re-open, your case will be ready to go.
1. Video Consultations: All you need is a phone, an iPad, or a computer with a webcam and a microphone and we can have a video consultation. Please click here to schedule.
2. For Divorce Cases: For existing cases in Ventura County, we can prepare your disclosures, create a discovery plan and ready your case for when the court opens again. For Los Angeles County, we can file your Petition and related documents, prepare your disclosures, create a discovery plan and ready your case for when the court opens again.
My Advice to you!
3. Be physically and emotionally healthy! There is a lot of humor circulating about how people are gaining weight and getting drunk during this period. Don’t give in to that. This is the time to take stock and improve on those things you always wanted. It means reading that book you wanted to read. It means taking that online course you always meant to take. It means gaining that skill that you didn’t have time for. It also means not letting your divorce case sit unattended. There is always work to be done. Let us handle it for you. Take this period of time to be proactive!
Thanks for taking the time to drop by.
Jeffrey L. Hoffer
Certified Family Law Specialist – located in Agoura Hills, CA.