Huntington Park prenuptial agreement lawyers

Posted By Aaron Denton, Uncategorized On August 25, 2020

When people get married, many factors come into play. People get married because they share certain interests and wish to continue doing so. They also get married because of love and the desire for shared companionship. Over time, issues relating to marriage have become codified. Authorities everywhere recognize that marriage means a great many things to a great many people. In recognition of this fact, they’ve created a body of law that deals with all aspects of marriage. They’ve also come up with many ways to ensure that any marriage takes into account specific circumstances before people get married. Many things should be in place before the couple heads to the altar and a legally binding state contract. One of the single most important is the issue of finances. Financial matters can have an impact on everything people do as a couple. This includes decisions such as where to live, setting a budget and having children.

Protecting People’s Rights

Both the bride and groom do not enter into marriage as blank slates. With the average age of marriage in the United States creeping up, the typical couple in the U.S. is now older, more educated and more likely to have assets before they enter into marriage. They are also more likely to have debt as well. One party may have student loans, car loans and credit card debt. The other party may have issues due to a prior marriage. This makes it more important than ever to ensure that any fiscal matters are worked out satisfactorily before the marriage starts. Lawmakers everywhere have come up with a useful solution. Everyone who is planning to get married should understand the term prenuptial agreement. They should also understand what it means, why it might be necessary and how to have a legally binding prenup in place before getting married.

Residents of California, like residents of other states, have the option of a prenuptial agreement. The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act or (UPAA) exists to set up a framework for the creation of a prenup. Under law, the parties can agree to a prenup before they get married. The agreement must be in writing, must be signed voluntarily, needs to be notarized and must allow seven days for each party to agree and find a lawyer to look it over on their behalf. It cannot include issues pertaining to child support, demands to engage in illegal activities such as dealing drugs or a legal demand for one party to do things such as wear their hair a certain way. If these conditions are met, the prenup can be enforced in the state. For residents of California, it makes a lot of sense to consider a prenuptial agreement. Doing so has a great many financial benefits.

Combined Assets

Many couples today bring assets they’ve earned before marriage to the marital bed. One party may have a 401K while another has already purchased a house. The agreement allows each party to be recognized as a separate financial entity before they get married. It also allows them define what is considered personal property and what is to be considered community property before they get married. This is also the time to work out any special arrangements in writing before the marriage takes place. For example, one party can agree the other party gets the beach house if they get a divorce while the other gets to keep the pied-a-terre in the heart of San Francisco. That makes it easy for both parties to understand each partner’s finances before they decide to get married.

Other issues can also be resolved with the use of a prenuptial agreement. Both parties can agree how they’re going to handle financial matters in the future. One spouse may have a great deal of student loan debt. The other party can agree that debt is theirs alone and will not be transferred if the marriage should dissolve. The same can be applied to a mortgage. One party can agree they will assume the mortgage automatically if they get a divorce. This can help both parties save money by avoiding the need to potentially sell the house in the event of a buyer’s market.

During this time, the parties can also agree exactly what’s going to happen if they get a divorce. Even a fairly simple divorce can be complicated. Both parties might find they need to hire lawyers. The prenup sets up an agreement the groom and bride will follow if they get a divorce. The allocation of all preowned assets has been decided in advance. That makes any path to divorce a lot shorter. That means the parties can spend far less money on legal fees and more on creating the new life they want after the divorce.

About Prenups

Prenups, also referred to as antenuptial or premarital agreements, were only popularized in America as recently as the 1980s, but they are said to date as far back as ancient Rome. 

A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by two people who intend to get married.

The relevant statutes in the Golden State detail the rights and obligations of domestic partners and spouses. Some of these may be renegotiated and modified in an agreement. Terms can even be laid out for the possibility of the death of one or both spouses. 

The terms in a prenup can differ from the default terms under the current state legislation. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Prenup?

The short answer is no. You can put together a prenuptial agreement without legal counsel, just as you can with any other type of contract.  If you opt against getting a lawyer for this, you could find a template to follow.  That said, it is possible that you can make an error or omission  in the absence of an experienced attorney that makes it impossible to later enforce the prenup. 

Executing a Prenup in California: Signing, Validating and Enforcing with Legal Counsel

While you can create a prenup on your own (at your own risk), getting a prenup in California signed, and later enforced, may require legal counsel.  For the most part, courts view premarital agreements in favorable light. That fact notwithstanding, there are some scenarios in which your prenup cannot and will not be enforced.  

For instance, if any type of coercion at signing can be proven to a judge, then the agreement is invalidated.

For the court to find a signature authentically voluntary, the one who was asked to sign the prenup must have either consulted with an attorney of their choosing, or they must have waived their right to have an attorney in writing.

By law, that person must have been given at least seven days to get their own legal representation before signing. If, for example, a wife doesn’t have an attorney at signing, she must be able to give a full explanation of the contents of the contract to show that she knew what she was signing.

The Scope of Your Prenup in California

A prenup can cover such issues as the interests of the future spouses in their separate and community property assets. These interests can include the right to sell, lease, buy, or mortgage property holdings. Even making  a will, forming a trust, or the payout of a life insurance death benefit upon the death of one or both spouses can be overridden by a prenup. 

Some key limitations to the authority of prenups:

  • Lifestyle Clauses in Prenups Life-style clauses, such as clauses dictating how often you have sex or limiting visits by in-laws normally cannot be enforced in a court of law.
  • Alimony/Spousal Support A judge will not enforce clauses that limit spousal support if the spouse whose rights have been diminished didn’t have a chance to get their own legal representation at the time they signed.
  • If the courts decide that a waiver of spousal support is unconscionable, they can decide not to uphold it and award support. 
  • Child Support The Family Code says that “[t]he right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.” 
  • Obligation to Commit a Crime Any contract that obligates someone to commit a criminal offense or otherwise violate laws or public policy cannot be valid. 

How Can I Be Certain That My Prenup is Valid?

For a prenup to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement can be changed or revoked after the couple has already married. Such changes also necessitate a written contract signed by both spouses. Notably, because of the unique and intimate kinship between husbands and wives, the very suggestion of a prenup can create suspicions of undue influence.

The law states that the intimate, fiduciary link between spouses “imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse.” The family court has the power to penalize any violation of fiduciary obligation. 

There is no fiduciary relationship between fiances. Therefore, the presumption of undue influence would not apply.