Most couples do not contact a family law attorney to have a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up before they are married. Those that do assume that anything in this agreement will be legally binding. This is not always the case. Read on to find out about situations that may render a pre-nuptial unenforceable. Then contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 if you are contemplating a divorce and want to know what your options are.
Understanding Prenuptial Agreements
In 1986, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act was passed in California. It covers the laws governing prenuptial agreements. Essentially, this agreement is a contract that you and your spouse sign. The contract lays out how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. We strongly recommend having an attorney draw up and review the prenuptial agreement to ensure that both parties fully understand what they are signing.
Things a Prenuptial Agreement Can Do
The aforementioned law specifies a few things that a prenuptial agreement can do. It is cover how finances and assets are divided up, as long as following said contract is not considered “unconscionable.” This means, in short, that the arrangement cannot leave one spouse unable to support themselves at all.
A prenuptial can specify what is community property and what is separate property. Without a prenuptial agreement to lay this out, most assets obtained before marriage are separate property and most assets obtained during marriage are community property. A prenuptial can also waive a spouse’s right to request spousal support or an inheritance.
Things a Prenuptial Agreement Cannot Do
Though you can technically write anything you would like into a prenuptial agreement, some items are not enforceable because they are not allowed by law. For example, you cannot include anything that affects the best interest of the couple’s children and you cannot waive or reduce child support. However, the agreement can include information on increasing child support over the legally required amounts.
Finally, if a judge feels that a prenuptial agreement encourages divorce, they may deem it unenforceable. As one example, if a prenuptial agreement awards a large sum of money to one spouse, then this could potentially make it more attractive to that spouse to divorce. As a result, a judge may find it unenforceable.
We Can Help You with All Issues Related to Prenuptial Agreements
Whether you are about to get married and want to draw up a prenuptial agreement, you have a prenuptial agreement and are getting divorced, or have other questions about prenuptial agreements, Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell is here to help. Contact us now at (909) 920-0908 to get started. We will review your case and offer advice on how best to proceed.