A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a “prenup,” is a legally binding contract between two people who intend to marry. You and your future spouse can utilize this document to preserve your pre-marital assets and address how your community property should be divided if you divorce.
Whether you are already seeking a pre-marital contract or wish to learn more about them, a knowledgeable Simi Valley prenuptial agreements lawyer could explain the advantages in your situation. Our marital agreement attorneys could represent your interests during the drafting stages to ensure your future is protected.
California follows community property laws, meaning any property acquired during a couple’s marriage generally belongs to both spouses equally. Upon divorce, each spouse is entitled to one-half of the marital estate.
While this may seem straightforward, it can be quite complex. Divorcing couples often spend considerable time and money sorting out when specific property was acquired and which assets belong to the community. This can be challenging if a spouse’s pre-marital property was commingled with community property after the couple married.
Someone who is concerned about unintended property commingling or who desires to avoid a court battle is well-advised to consult a capable attorney regarding pre-marital agreements.
Prenups provide great flexibility in terms of resolving potential divorce disputes. However, certain issues cannot be addressed in a prenuptial contract. Determining what terms could render a prenup invalid is just as critical as deciding what it can legally address. A dedicated lawyer in the Simi Valley area could work to ensure a prenup’s enforceability.
Since it is impossible to predict what a child’s needs will be at the time of divorce, a judge must decide custody based on the child’s best interests at the time of their parent’s marriage dissolution. Additionally, the state’s policy is that support is the child’s right, and neither parent can waive it on their behalf. This means terms concerning the wellbeing of children cannot be included in a pre-marital agreement.
A prenuptial contract cannot unfairly penalize a spouse for marital misconduct. For example, a pre-marital agreement that conditions one spouse’s receipt of alimony on whether they remained faithful during the marriage may be unenforceable.
While spouses can agree to limit or waive spousal support in a prenup, the limitation or waiver cannot be substantially unfair to the lesser-earning spouse. A judge must review a proposed prenuptial agreement for fairness before incorporating into the couple’s final divorce decree.
A prenup that is found to be unfair to either spouse will be voided by the court, and a judge will decide these matters for the couple. For this reason, it is in a couple’s best interest to work with a Simi Valley lawyer to ensure their pre-marital agreement is fair and enforceable.
Getting married can be an unpredictable prospect. If you are preparing for marriage, it is also advisable to prepare for a potential divorce with a well-crafted prenuptial contract to ensure your financial future is protected. Even if a divorce doesn’t happen, being transparent with your partner about your expectations for the future can help foster open communication, creating a solid foundation for your life together.
Our seasoned Simi Valley prenuptial agreements lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to draft effective and enforceable pre-marital contracts. Reach out to our firm today for more information about how a prenup could protect your financial future.
Hoffer Family Law Firm