A postnuptial agreement will protect your assets and finances if it complies with California’s marital agreement laws and contract laws. As discussed in more detail below, however, postnuptial agreements may be invalid under California law if they are deemed to be unfair or inequitable to one spouse. The fairness and equitable standards give courts more discretion to decide whether or not the terms of a postnuptial agreement are valid.
If you are considering a postnuptial agreement in California to protect your assets and finances in a divorce, you need an experienced attorney who understands California’s marital agreement laws. At the Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel, we represent clients in postnuptial agreement matters. We know how important it is to make sure that postnuptial agreements comply with every aspect of California law so that your finances and assets are protected should you and your spouse divorce.
Why Couples Enter Into Marital Agreements
Couples often enter into marital agreements to protect their financial security and assets. There are many reasons to enter into a postnuptial agreement after marriage, such as a significant change in financial circumstances. If one spouse inherits a substantial sum of money or one spouse’s business unexpectedly takes off, couples may choose to make their property ownership and division clear in a postnuptial agreement.
Sometimes one spouse will learn that the other spouse has irresponsible spending habits or has acquired a significant amount of debt, and a postnuptial agreement will clearly identify who is responsible for those debts. In other cases, married couples may have intended to execute a prenuptial agreement, but did not get it done before the wedding, so they decide to enter into a postnuptial agreement.
California Elements Of Valid A Postnuptial Agreement
Under California law, a valid postnuptial agreement must be:
- Written, signed, and notarized.
- Filed with family court and accepted by a judge.
- Fair and equitable to both spouses.
- Entered into freely and voluntarily.
- Entered into by both parties with full disclosure of all assets, property, income, and debts.
More Scrutiny Of Postnuptial Agreements In California
In California, a postnuptial agreement faces more scrutiny than a prenuptial agreement. When looking at the validity of a postnuptial agreement, courts will look to whether or not the agreement is fair and equitable to both spouses. One spouse may challenge the validity of a postnuptial agreement because the terms are not fair to him or her, even though he or she signed the agreement.
Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
Because of the increased scrutiny and the fair and equitable requirements, family law attorney Bruce A. Mandel knows that spouses must be represented by experienced attorneys when entering into a postnuptial agreement. Postnuptial agreements can be a useful tool in protecting your assets and finances, but those agreements are only useful if they are valid under California law.
If you need help with a postnuptial agreement, divorce, or any other family law matter, contact our office at 424-250-9130 or submit an online form. Follow our Facebook page for updates and information about our law firm.