Glendale Prenup Agreement Lawyers
California is home to some of the wealthiest people in the country, including movie producers, actors and musicians, and a who’s who list of celebrities. The state also has millions of average, ordinary people just trying to get by. If you’re getting married in the state, consider signing a prenuptial agreement first, regardless of which category you fit into. Far too many people assume only rich and famous people need prenups, but that is false. Any couple exchanging vows benefits their relationship when they sign a prenup first. Interested to learn more about the benefits of signing a prenup and why it’s not as bad as ‘they’ say?
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement signed by both individuals before they enter into a marriage union. This agreement protects each person’s assets as they enter into the marriage. The state of California sets laws and regulations for prenuptial agreements. Individuals may not dissolve spousal support or child support. Other stipulations also apply.
The prenup agreement becomes important only in the event the marriage ends. Couples hope they never reach that point in their marriage, but it is a realistic possibility for any couple. At that time, the prenup agreement protects each person’s assets and the money and materials they brought into a relationship.
Research shows that 41 percent of first-time marriages end in divorce. The stats for second and third marriages are somewhat better, but the risk is still high. This information isn’t intended to bring you down, but instead bring awareness to the risks and the importance of signing this prenup agreement.
If the marriage ends without a prenuptial agreement in place, all of the things you’ve worked hard for could be swept from under the rug during the divorce settlement. You could also face an excruciating court process to dissolve the marriage. A prenup agreement eliminates these potential risks and worries.
Do You Not Trust Me?
This question is the most asked question between couples when the mention of a prenuptial agreement is made. Couples can learn the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement together and learn that it’s not about trust or a lack thereof. It is about what if’s in life. We always plan to honor our vows “til death do us part,” but life sometimes has other plans, and relationships end well before this time. Statistics regarding divorce prove this is true. Feelings and hearts change, people grow apart, and divorce is sometimes inevitable. A prenuptial agreement covers the what if’s in life that we never plan for, but should.
Keep Conflict to a Minimum
Since prenup agreements minimize conflict during and after a divorce, a more amicable divorce happens when couples sign prenups at the beginning of the marriage. It is important to minimize conflict during a divorce, especially when you’d like to remain friends or when that is necessary due to children, business endeavors, or other matters. Harboring feelings due to a bad divorce only causes anger to erupt at the worst times, in the worst of styles.
Easier Divorce Proceedings
Divorce battles often take months on end to resolve, with plenty of arguments and headaches between this time. A prenuptial agreement minimizes potential disputes so the court process is smooth and simple, just the way that it should be. Not only can a prenuptial agreement reduce the time it takes to finalize the divorce, but also the back and forth during the divorce. The result is a faster, smoother divorce process for everyone involved.
When marriages end abruptly and one party is hurt, angry, scorned or feels they were done wrong, getting even or getting payback may become their primary goal in the divorce. Sometimes such people become vindictive and do everything possible to hurt the other person. They may try to destroy the things that you’ve worked hard for, take family heirlooms and keepsakes, or otherwise case as much pain as possible. You can leave any kind of worry this will happen when a prenuptial agreement is in place at the start of the marriage.
A Bit of Background About Prenups
Although prenups, also called antenuptial or premarital agreements, only became popular in the US During the 80s, historians say that even the ancient Romans used premarital agreements. A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by two individuals who intend to marry.
The applicable statutes in the California law describe the legal rights and obligations of domestic partners and spouses. Some of these rights can actually be renegotiated and modified by an agreement. Terms can even be decided for the eventuality of the untimely death of a spouse.
If this is something one or both individuals in the engagement wish to achieve, then a prenup is the option that makes the most sense.
Do Both Parties Need a Lawyer for a Prenup in California?
Indeed, you can create a prenuptial agreement by yourself. If you choose not to get a lawyer for this, there are templates you can follow. The peril in this is that you may overlook critical details that may make it difficult or impossible to later enforce the contract.
If you are on the receiving end of the agreement, then getting legal counsel to represent you at signing is wise.
An article in Forbes Magazine about the uncharacteristically private nuptials of Justin Beiber and Hailey Baldwin advises that you “Get your own counsel. Justin and Hailey should each have their own attorneys to represent them regarding the prenuptial agreement.” Indeed, some states require that both parties have a lawyer for a prenup.
Enforcing a Prenup That was Signed Without a Lawyer
If the question of whether a signature on a prenup was truly voluntary arises, a judge will want to know if the party who was presented with the prenup consulted with their own attorney, or if they waived their right to have an attorney in writing.
Said party had to be guaranteed a minimum of seven days according to the California code to consult an attorney before signing. For instance, if a husband has no lawyer representing him at signing, he must be able to present a clear and correct explanation as to the contents of the contract to show that he understood what he was signing.
While neither party is legally required to have legal representation, courts tend to be less willing to uphold a prenup signed by a party that didn’t have independent legal representation. In such cases , especially if the prenup appears to be disproportionate against the party that lacked representation or if there are concerns about coercion or duress, a judge might invalidate the prenup completely.
How Can I Be Sure if My Prenup is Valid?
For a prenup to be considered valid, the contract must be in writing and be signed by both spouses. It is worth noting that due to the unique and intimate connection between husbands and wives, the very existence of a prenup can create suspicions of undue influence.
The law states that the intimate, fiduciary relationship between married persons “imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse.” Family courts have the power to levy penalties against violations of fiduciary obligation.
That said, there are no fiduciary relationships between fiances. A presumption of undue influence would not apply until after they are married.
The Authority of Prenups in California
Some key limits of prenups:
- Children’s right to receive support cannot be negatively affected by a prenup
- If the prenup requires one or both signers to commit crimes or otherwise break laws or policies, it is invalid.
- A judge will only uphold clauses that lower spousal support below what the law provides if the affected spouse had time to get legal representation at signing.
- If the courts find that a waiver of spousal support in the prenup is unconscionable, they have the power to decide not to enforce the clause and award some support.
- So-called lifestyle clauses, like clauses those placing requirements on sex, normally can’t be enforced by courts.
The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act
For a complete list of the applicable statutes relating to prenups in California, please seeto The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.