A postnuptial agreement in California is a contract a couple enters into after marriage that establishes the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements may be necessary because something changed in a marriage, or there was no time or desire to enter into such a contract before the wedding.
A postnuptial agreement is more difficult to validate than a prenuptial agreement because it divides assets and debts after they are already shared. The shorter the marriage, the more likely a postnuptial agreement can be invalidated by one party arguing coercion into the contract.
Reasons For A Postnuptial Agreement
Many couples do not want to discuss prenuptial agreements just before they are married even if doing so would benefit them in the long run. Therefore, they choose to save the issue for after the marriage and enter into a postnuptial agreement. A couple may decide that their prenuptial agreement no longer suits their wishes and instead make a postnuptial agreement that addresses their new needs and obligations.
A married couple might consider a postnuptial agreement if they are considering divorce or legal separation. In doing so, they could address spousal support and division of property ahead of time. This could minimize their legal expenses and streamline the divorce process.
If a spouse has children from a previous marriage, a postnuptial agreement could lay out how inheritance shares are distributed to ensure those children receive certain assets through inheritance. Or if one spouse receives a large inheritance of money or a family business, a postnuptial agreement could protect that inheritance from becoming marital property.
In the event that one of the parties has taken on considerable debt or made irresponsible financial decisions, a postnuptial agreement could protect the more financially responsible party. When one of the spouses stops working to care for minor children, that spouse could ensure their financial stability after leaving the workforce through a postnuptial agreement.
What Is Not Permitted In A California Postnuptial Agreement
Although postnuptial agreements may address division of property and assets after divorce, spousal support, debts, and division of assets upon death, they may not include provisions for child support and child custody. There are conditions that may invalidate a postnuptial agreement as well.
The postnuptial agreement must be in writing. Both parties needed to sign it voluntarily. The parties both need time to read and consider the postnuptial agreement.
There cannot be invalid provisions, false or incomplete information in the postnuptial agreement. The parties need to have their own attorneys, and the postnuptial agreement cannot be grossly unfair to either party.
Contact An Experienced Torrance, California, Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
A postnuptial agreement is presumed invalid. Therefore, it is imperative to consult an experienced postnuptial agreement attorney when considering drafting a postnuptial agreement with your spouse. You want your postnuptial agreement to protect your intended assets and hold up in court.
There is no better way to ensure this than consulting with a California family law attorney today. The Law Office of Bruce A. Mandel can fully realize your postnuptial agreement needs into a valid, enforceable contract. Call the Law Office of Bruce A. Mandel to schedule a free consultation.