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

Planning ahead for your wedding day is such an all-consuming and involved process that it may seem silly to plan for a potential divorce at the same time. However, you should not think of a marital agreement as preparation to leave your spouse, but rather a way of solving potential problems that could negatively impact your relationship before they ever have a chance to arise.

Whether you want to draft a “prenup” with your partner prior to tying the knot or draft a contract alongside your spouse, a Thousand Oaks marital agreements lawyer is ready and available to help. With guidance from a seasoned family attorney, you could make sure your agreement is comprehensive, equitable, and above all enforceable in a court of law.

Drafting an Enforceable Marital Agreement in Thousand Oaks

For the most part, marital agreements work more or less the same whether they are drafted before or after a couple is officially married. In both situations, the agreement must abide by the rules of the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which is adopted under state law in California Family Code §§1610 through 1617. To start, the UPAA establishes that a marital contract is only valid and enforceable if:

  • It is in writing
  • It is signed by both soon-to-be or already-married spouses
  • Neither party signed the agreement under “duress,” meaning neither party was forced to sign against their will or signed under fraudulent circumstances
  • The terms of the agreement are not “unconscionable,” meaning it is not unfairly in favor of one party over the other

There are also some restrictions that impact what specific matters these agreements can address. While any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can establish who owns what property, how marital earnings and property would be split in the event of a divorce, and ownership stakes in a business or stock portfolio, these contracts cannot make any binding decisions about custody or child support obligations.

Additionally, marital agreements can address whether one spouse would receive financial support from the other if they later get divorced, but a contract that waives one party’s right to spousal support is only valid if the party in question signed the document after having retained legal counsel. An attorney in Thousand Oaks could help someone determine what terms they should and should not include in their marital contract.

How Are the Types of Marriage Agreements Different?

Broadly speaking, the only major difference between a prenuptial and a postnuptial agreement is when this contract was signed. However, there are a few more practical concerns that a married couple should take into consideration when drafting a postnuptial agreement that individuals drafting a prenup may not have to think about.

For example, when two people get married in California, they assume a fiduciary obligation to each other, which is essentially a legal requirement to act in their spouse’s best financial interests at all times. Accordingly, it is even more important for both parties to be completely open and honest about their financial holdings and interests if they want to form a legally enforceable postnup. Things can get more complicated when a postnuptial agreement effectively serves as a separation agreement, in which case seeking help from a skilled marital agreements attorney in Thousand Oaks may be even more crucial.

Speak with a Thousand Oaks Marital Agreements Attorney Today

Drafting a marriage agreement does not have to be a stressful process, and it certainly does not have to be a confrontational one. With guidance from seasoned legal counsel, you and your spouse should be able to comprehensively address potential issues that could possibly impact your marriage, saving you the potential trouble of relitigating them later.

Assistance from a knowledgeable Thousand Oaks marital agreements lawyer could be essential to drafting the contract you need. Call today to learn more or to schedule a meeting with one of our legal professionals.

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