Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements in California
Marital agreements serve an important function in securing your future
No one likes to think they need a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, but not having one is gambling with your assets. The divorce rate in California in 2013 is an unbelievable 75%. If you are considering marriage or are already married, you should prepare for the worst scenario.
Under California matrimonial law, assets acquired after a marriage are community property and are subject to being split 50/50 in a property settlement agreement. The following are reasons why you might want a different arrangement:
- You are in a second marriage and you want to preserve certain assets for your children from a previous marriage
- You and your spouse want to opt out of the community property laws
- You are concerned about having to pay spousal support and want to eliminate that obligation
- You and your spouse have disproportionate assets and you want to preserve your separate assets
- You are married but you want certain assets to go to certain individuals of your choosing
Attorney Glenn L. Robertson is Certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. He has over 20 years of experience preparing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and the surrounding area.
California courts uphold prenuptial agreements generally but will not enforce unconscionable limitations, (e.g., elimination of spousal support, penalties for infidelity or drug use, or unreasonable requirements). A prenuptial agreement cannot address child custody or child support matters. Parties must also have independent attorneys if one of the provisions of the agreement is to limit spousal support. Glenn L. Robertson represents clients in prenuptial and postnuptial agreement negotiations. He will protect your interests and help you craft a marital agreement that satisfies both parties.
California courts treat postnuptial agreements and prenuptial agreements differently. The courts take the position that people who are already married have a fiduciary responsibility to each other while people who are not married do not have that same responsibility. Accordingly, the courts will carefully scrutinize any agreement that diminishes the fiduciary relationship. For example, an unmarried couple may agree to a limited amount of spousal support in a prenuptial agreement, but one spouse cannot take advantage of another by setting a disproportionate spousal support amount in a postnuptial agreement.
Do not enter into an agreement without contacting a skilled attorney
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have serious implications. Before you sign, contact Glenn L. Robertson, a certified family law specialist, online or at 805-963-3535 for a consultation. Mr. Robertson serves all of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, including Santa Maria, Summerland, Ventura, Carpinteria, and Lompoc.