Premarital agreements have a connotation of being coldly one-sided or pessimistic about marriage. Yet a prenuptial agreement can be beneficial to both spouses by setting clear expectations going into marriage and avoiding many disputes in the event of a future divorce.
The Law Offices of Teresa A. Beyers counsels either party in drafting or reviewing premarital and postmarital agreements. Attention to detail is critical in these agreements, and our attorney will make sure that the document is as airtight as possible.
A prenuptial agreement (premarital agreement) protects assets owned prior to marriage by defining those assets as separate property. Without a “prenup,” those assets would potentially be subject to equitable division under California’s community property law. If the parties agree, they can opt-out of the community property system altogether. A prenuptial agreement might simply say that the parties keep what they each brought to the marriage, or it might specify a financial settlement, a percentage of the estate, or other parameters. We can individualize the agreement to your goals and concerns.
A postnuptial agreement (postmarital agreement) is a similar document signed by the parties at any point during the marriage.
Prenuptial/postnuptial agreements are commonly used:
Marital agreements can specify property division and alimony and can address certain matters involving children such as agreements to pay for travel, camps, private school, or college. However, a prenup cannot declare custody of children or waive child support obligations.
Many lawyers no longer handle prenups because they have had a bad experience. No legal contract is ever “ironclad” or “bulletproof,” but the key is to make sure that the agreement is clear, specific, and fully compliant with the law. Divorce and family law attorney Teresa Beyers will work closely with you to identify any red flags and to make the agreement as legally sound as possible.
One requirement is full disclosure of all assets and income. Any hidden assets or unreported revenue discovered during divorce proceedings can nullify the entire premarital/postmarital agreement.
The other main downfall is informed consent. The disadvantaged spouse must have his or her own legal counsel, must understand what he or she is giving up, and must voluntarily sign without duress. (A prenup presented as an ultimatum before the wedding or drafted by the parties themselves may not weather a legal challenge.)
Los Angeles prenuptial attorney Teresa Beyers offers a free initial phone consultation and after-hours appointments.
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