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Prenuptial agreements (also called premarital or antenuptial agreements) are contracts between two people who are planning to get married.
It is worth saying that prenups are not only for people with an abundance of assets. A prenup can, for example, shield you from later having to take responsibility for your spouse’s debts. Premarital agreements can also help to prevent quarreling in the event of a decision to divorce.
With a prenuptial agreement, you can:
Can I Do a Prenup Without a Lawyer?
As with any contract, you can indeed do a prenup without a lawyer. There are templates for premarital agreements. Some of the templates available are said to have been reviewed by licensed lawyers. That fact notwithstanding, can you do a prenup that would be enforceable under the laws of your jurisdiction?
Various jurisdictions have their unique statutory and case law with regards to what is and is not permitted in a prenup. Only a well-versed attorney would know and understand what these are to incorporate into your prenup.
Prenups in California can be different from marriage and divorce legislation
The Family Code of the state of California lays out the rights and obligations of spouses. Some of these marital rights can be negotiated and even circumvented by an agreement.
There can also be terms in the contract for how to make decisions in the case of the untimely death of a spouse.
Certainly, prenups in California can be different from marriage and divorce legislation.
How Can I Know for Sure That My Prenup is Valid?
Basically, for your prenup to be valid:
If the marriage is annulled, any existing prenuptial agreements may prove impossible to enforce, or enforcement may only be minimal.
Limitations of the Authority of a Prenup
Here are a number of important limitations to the scope of a prenup in California:
The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act
For access to all of the applicable statutes relating to prenups in the state of California, please see The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.
A prenuptial agreement (aka antenuptial, premarital agreement or prenup for short) is a contract between two people who are about to get married.
Why Should I Put a Prenuptial Agreement in Place?
Prenups aren’t just reserved for wealthy people. In a Rocketlawyer.com article, a prenup is said to have the power to shield you from responsibility for your spouse’s debts and even forestall arguments in divorce.
In a prenup, you would:
At Times, prenups in California differ from marriage and divorce laws
California legislation dictates the respective rights and obligations of spouses. Nevertheless, certain marital rights can be renegotiated and modified by contract. Engaged couples can decide in advance the terms of their property shares during their marriage or, if it should come to it, their divorce.
Terms can, for the eventuality of the unfortunate death of a spouse, also be spelled out in the contract.
At times, prenups in California differ from marriage and divorce laws. Agreed upon terms can diverge from the present default procedure under the state legislation.
How Can I Be Certain That My Prenup is Valid?
For a prenup to be considered valid:
If the marriage gets annulled, your prenup could in actuality be impossible to enforce, or enforcement may only be possible to a limited extent.
Undue Influence in Prenups
Because of the special, intimate kinship between husbands and wives, any discussion of a prenup can raise the suspicion of undue influence. This presumption could prove advantageous to either party who may want to challenge the legal validity of the prenup down the line.
The California Family Code states that the intimate, fiduciary connection between spouses “imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse.”
Family court judges have the power to sanction any violation of fiduciary obligation by awarding the whole value of an undisclosed asset in a divorce to the spouse that was deceived about it.
The Limits of a Prenup
Important limitations exist to the authority of prenups:
Can You Get a Prenup Without a Lawyer?
The short answer is yes, you can get a prenup without a lawyer. As with any contract, it is possible to create a prenuptial agreement on your own. Templates that you can use for creating a prenup can be had for little or no money. The real question is whether or not you’re getting a prenup that can be enforced under the laws of the jurisdiction you’re in.
Be advised that every jurisdiction has different statutory and case law that pertain to what is and is not allowable in prenups, and only an experienced attorney would know and understand what these are to advise you.
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