Prenuptial Agreement Attorney in Los Angeles, CA
Prenuptial Agreements in California
When a couple is entering the marriage process, there are a number of things to consider. For some, this might include a prenuptial agreement (prenup), sometimes known as a “premarital agreement.”
Though a prenup is not on the mind of every couple, there are circumstances where future spouses may opt for an agreement, in order to protect them and their financial well being in the event of a divorce. Typically, this is a concern in cases where an individual has significant assets before getting married, or if it is not the first marriage for a spouse.
Regardless of the marital situation, arriving at a premarital agreement can provide both spouses clarity and peace of mind when it comes to protecting interests, not just now, but in the future.
Legal Requirements for a Prenuptial Agreement
According to California state law, premarital agreements that are signed by both spouses automatically become effective once the couple enters the marriage. Because the principles of general contract law apply to premarital agreements, both parties must give full, valid consent to the terms and conditions outlined, meaning that consent cannot come as the result of inappropriate influence, fraud or mistake.
Additionally, prenuptial agreements are somewhat limited with regards to what they can and cannot include. Under state law, such agreements are free to cover any present and future property rights, as well as other essential matters related to the marriage.
However, there are some requirements – state law also requires full disclosure when it comes to property and finances, as well as ample time for an attorney to review the agreement prior to signing. An agreement cannot be considered valid if it fails to meet these terms.
Limitations to a Prenuptial Agreement
In addition to meeting certain legal guidelines, prenuptial agreements are prohibited from covering certain aspects of marital life. One such area is child custody or child support, specifically a child’s right to support. Although it is possible for a couple to arrive at a support agreement during the divorce process, such terms cannot be included in an agreement enacted at the time of the marriage.
Another is child custody – no premarital agreement can eliminate a court’s authority to control child custody or visitation orders after a marriage has ended. Essentially, state law forbids contracting any future children’s rights.
Premarital agreements are also prohibited from including anything illegal, or language that goes against existing public policy. For example, any agreement that outlines compensation for things like companionship or domestic services are not enforceable, because fidelity, support and mutual respect are already expectations in a marriage.
Legal Assistance for Your Prenuptial Agreement
Are you or someone you know considering entering into a marriage with a prenuptial agreement, or experiencing a dispute with an existing accord? If so, it is important to have the appropriate legal representation before signing or enforcing any documentation, since your interests – both current and future – are at stake.
In Los Angeles and the surrounding areas in Southern California, the legal team at Whitmarsh Family Law, PC is available to provide the sound legal advice necessary when signing, modifying or enforcing premarital agreements. Our firm is extremely well versed in the laws governing marriage, divorce and prenuptial agreements in California, and can provide the guidance you need as you look to protect your interests now, and well into the future.
To schedule a preliminary consultation with a member of our family law team, we invite you to call us today at (310) 552-3505.