Divorce proceedings are not simple affairs. They can be messy, complicated, and lead to financial burdens for both spouses. In an effort to help simplify the process, many couples might choose to draw up a postnuptial agreement.
While a postnuptial agreement is no guarantee that things will go exactly as the couple hopes and plans, they can assist judges and attorneys in streamlining the divorce process.
Since every state has its own set of laws, however, it begs the question: what happens if my postnuptial agreement was created in a state other than California?
This can be a loaded question that requires an experienced Torrance, CA attorney, like Bruce A. Mandel. If you’re wondering whether your out-of-state postnuptial agreement is still valid, let Bruce A Mandel help you out.
What Is A Postnuptial Agreement?
While many men and women have heard of prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements are not as widely understood.
Often produced when a couple feels they could be heading towards separation or divorce, postnuptial agreements are created to help protect the equal distribution of property and assets obtained throughout the marriage.
They are also drawn up in circumstances where one spouse has inherited a significant amount of money, or a partner has become abusive.
While there is no specific information in the California Family Code about postnuptial agreements, it does refer to premarital agreements and other marital property agreements. Some of the regulations put into place about the production of such contracts include:
- Agreements must be in writing
- Each spouse must be voluntarily consenting to the creation of the agreement and its abiding terms
- Agreements made under coercion or force are not accepted
- Agreements must include full-transparency about finances, property, and assets
- Documents must be signed and notarized for validity.
It’s also worth noting that postnuptial agreements are strongly discouraged and often unenforceable in Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
Will My Out-Of-State Postnuptial Agreement Affect My California Divorce?
Every state has their own sets of laws concerning divorce and postnuptial agreements. Despite this, however, it’s likely your agreement will remain valid in California, as long as it was drafted and executed correctly.
At the end of the day, however, your divorce judgment must abide by state laws.
If any terms outlined in your postnuptial agreement do not meet California laws and policy, they will be dismissed.
You should also keep in mind that issues such as child custody and child support arrangements made in postnuptial agreements are not often valid state-to-state. The California court system will perform its own analysis for these areas to determine what’s best for your family and child.
How Can I Make Sure My Postnuptial Agreement Is Valid In California?
As previously stated, many terms discussed in your out-of-state postnuptial agreement will be valid in California, too.
That being said; however, it’s never a bad idea to ask an experienced California family law attorney like Bruce A. Mandel for their opinion of your agreement.
They can assist you in determining whether its current terms abide by California laws. If they do not, he can assist you in adjusting your existing postnuptial agreement and ensuring it meets every necessary regulation mandated by the California Family Code.
Another thing to consider is the expiration date on some postnuptial agreements. If you are still married ten to fifteen years after its original execution, there’s a good chance the terms included are now null and void. You may need to have an updated draft completed.
Learning More About Postnuptial Agreements in California
There’s no doubt about it; divorce proceedings are a complicated affair. That’s why postnuptial agreements are becoming an ever-increasing trend amongst couples.
With that in mind, however, it’s essential to ensure your postnuptial agreement has been legally produced and meets specific state laws that are put in place regarding divorce. Just because a marital property agreement is valid in one state, does not always mean it will be accepted in another.
If you’d like the confidence of knowing your current out-of-state postnuptial agreement meets the requirements of California law, it’s crucial to hire an experienced family law attorney to take a look.
With 30 years of industry-leading experience, Bruce A. Mandel has the comprehensive knowledge you need to ensure things are up-to-code.
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