Is It Too Late for a Prenuptial Agreement?

Tierney Law Group

It may be too late to get a prenuptial agreement if the wedding is within the next week. If you’re considering a prenuptial agreement, it’s important to understand the requirements and implications. Talk to an experienced Pleasanton family law attorney to get started. It’s vital to understand your rights and responsibilities as you move forward into a new phase of your life.

In California, prenuptial agreements must be written at least a week before the wedding. This is because both parties must have at least 7 days to review the document before signing. Otherwise, it is too late to get a prenup agreement. But there are other options.

Requirements for a Prenuptial Agreement Enforcement

If any of these requirements are not met, a California court may refuse to enforce the prenuptial agreement. The courts take special concern if the document seems unfair or if there is any indication of coercion.

  • The prenuptial agreement must be in writing
  • Both parties must sign the agreement
  • Each party has a minimum of seven days to review the agreement before signing
  • Each party must be represented by independent attorneys unless they waive this requirement in writing

Prenuptial Agreement Coverage

  • How will the property be divided?
  • Who will get custody of the children?
  • How much spousal support (alimony) will be paid?
  • Who will control a business if the couple owns a company?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract to define each partner’s rights and responsibilities during marriage. It may also contain agreements about custody, debts, or business ownership in case one spouse dies or the couple divorces.

Some of the things that can be covered in a prenuptial agreement include the following:

Spousal support terms can be difficult to execute, even if they are spelled out in a prenup and both parties agree before the wedding. This is because one spouse is often in a stronger financial position than the other. California courts may not enforce terms unless they are considered fair and reasonable.

Alternatives to a Prenuptial Agreement

It is not too late to have a prenuptial agreement. If you want a prenuptial agreement, but it seems too late, you might consider a post-nuptial agreement drafted by a Pleasanton family law attorney.

A post-nuptial agreement, similar to prenuptial agreements, is entered into after a couple is married. These agreements contain similar terms to a prenup.

Post-nuptial agreements can also be updated over time so that the document fits the couple’s current situation. For example, a couple may decide to change the agreement after they begin having children or if one spouse receives a family inheritance.

California Requirements for Post-Nuptial Agreements

Post-nuptial agreements have to be approved by a California court before they can be enforced. The courts look closely at post-nuptial agreements that waive spousal support like alimony.

This is because, in California, spouses have a fiduciary duty to one another. Courts consider the fairness and reasonableness of an agreement before approving it.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements do not indicate that either party is expecting the marriage to end in divorce. For most couples, discussion about future financial goals, child custody, wills, and other legal agreements is part of planning a life together. Particularly in second marriages or where there are children from previous relationships, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements help a couple agree on major decisions that will free them to concentrate on their future together. It is never too late! If you’re considering a pre-nuptial or a post-nuptial agreement, it’s important to understand the requirements and implications. Talk to an experienced Pleasanton CA family law attorney at Tierney Law Group to get started.

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