For many Bay Area couples, a prenuptial agreement can be a smart choice. A prenuptial agreement can help protect premarital assets and plan for unexpected events, as you enter your marriage. The attorneys at Tierney Law Group, PC draft and review both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Prenuptial agreements are often considered by people who own businesses or other valuable assets prior to marriage, as well as parties who are getting married for a second time and want to preserve their estate for their children or grandchildren. A prenuptial agreement must be fair, and executed in a fair manner in order to be upheld by Courts. Our Bay Area prenuptial agreement attorneys can help you meet both of those standards and create a strong and fair prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people before marriage that explains how assets will be distributed, money will be split or shared, and/or who holds interest in a business owned by one party, in the event of divorce or death. These agreements can vary widely, but commonly the content includes provisions for division of property and spousal support/alimony in the event of divorce, breakup of marriage, or death. These agreements may also include terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery or other enumerated actions.
Legal requirements in California include the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which has applied to prenuptial agreements in California since 1986. In general, this law states that written prenuptial agreements signed by both parties will automatically become effective once the couple marries, provided certain standards are met. These types of agreements can cover a couple’s present and future property rights and many other matters related to the marriage. These kinds of agreements do not cover issues regarding custody and visitation of children.
A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, however it is a contract that is written after a couple is married or in a civil union. These types of agreements exist to settle matters in the event of legal separation or divorce.
It is very important that postnuptial agreements be negotiated and drafted under the care of an experience attorney. Pursuant to California law, married couples have the highest level of fiduciary duty to each other, including in financial dealings where each spouse must act toward the other as a trustee would toward a beneficiary. Much like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement must be voluntary, signed by both spouses, and cannot contain anything criminal or anything that affects public policy. Postnuptial agreements can also help spouses feel more secure in their current marriages.
At Tierney Law Group, PC, our postnuptial attorneys in the Bay Area pay careful attention to the goals and circumstances of each our clients when drafting, negotiating, and litigating these agreements of these kinds. Some of the Bay Area postnuptial agreements involve spouses who may be going through marital problems but are willing to try to work it out if they feel that their assets will be protected by an agreement of this type. If both spouses can agree, a postnuptial agreement is a great way to preserve the marriage while still recognizing the individual interests of each spouse.
In order to be valid and enforceable, every prenuptial or postnuptial agreement must (1) Be in writing; (2) Fully disclose the assets and debts of each party; (3) Be fair when entered into; (4) Have notarized signatures; and (4) Not be against public policy (i.e., a party cannot agree to give up child support or block custody and/or visitation from the other spouse).
Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements can be very complex, and must be carefully drafted by a skilled family law attorney who is familiar with California law. The experienced family law attorneys at Tierney Law Group, PC can help you draft a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement. Our attorneys will draft agreements carefully so that the language is specific and will protect from future loss. Contact a Bay Area prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyer from Tierney Law Group, PC today at 925-362-3364 if you need a high quality attorney to draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement of any type.
Katlin N. Law
Tierney Law Group, PC