Long Beach prenuptial agreement lawyers

Posted By Aaron Denton, On August 25, 2020

Although you do not have to seek the validation of an attorney while drafting your prenuptial contract, it is always good to ensure that the agreement conforms to the US state laws. Therefore, it would be in your best interest as a couple to use a prenuptial agreement form that has the validation of a professional and experienced lawyer. However, the US marriage laws recommend hiring two prenuptial lawyers, so that you and your partner can get independent, valid, and unbiased advice. So, why exactly would a married couple consider getting a prenuptial agreement or a prenup lawyer?

What is a prenuptial agreement? Do you need a prenuptial lawyer?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that legally binds spouses and explains in detail how to divide the assets when they get a divorce. This legally binding contract covers several issues, such as alimony and debt payment after divorce. In the United States, the terms of signing a prenup agreement depend on the state of residence and the needs of spouses. The marriage and divorce act states that you would need to divide your property 50/50 between you and your spouse if you reside in a community property estate and happen to get married.

You will need to share properties such as inheritance, and gifts, but the law states that the agreement should not share premarital assets. A prenuptial agreement is essential for couples who decide that they do not want the hassle that comes with alimony support. When drafting a prenuptial agreement, several states in the US recommends that you get the advice of two independent attorneys. The state recommends two lawyers because it is impossible to use the same attorney to represent both spouses in the court of law.

Courts also closely scrutinize the prenuptial agreement, and if it is not legally binding and does not comply with the state laws, the judge renders the document invalid. Thus, to get a fair court hearing, you should work with two independent prenuptial lawyers. Most states give strict deadlines to couples who want to draft a prenuptial agreement contract.

Some will require that you provide the prenup a few days before your wedding, or you can talk to your lawyers to give you and your spouse time to read and understand the contract. Thus, the more reason you need a prenup attorney because they ensure that you meet all the procedural requirements.

Why you need a prenuptial agreement

The most important part about a prenuptial agreement is that it helps protect future assets earned during your marriage. However, the deal does not require you to share the assets acquired before marriage with your spouse. When you draft a valid prenuptial agreement, it helps in the following ways.

  • A prenuptial agreement helps to keep the finances separate. A prenup allows spouses to define which properties remain separate entities, and which assets are parts of the marital estate.
  • A prenup also protects the rights of children from previous relationships. It gives them the right to inherit property from the deceased parent.
  • According to the state laws, if there is no prenup agreement, the court decides how to divide the assets acquired during the marriage. Therefore, a prenup is essential to protect and establish property rights in case of divorce.
  • The prenup discusses the financial responsibilities of each partner during the marriage. A prenup will address important information, such as opening a joint account or a surviving spouse in the real estate plan.

However, the court will nullify certain prenup agreements such as those that violate the public policy, such as those that waiver child support. The state law does not also consider provisions that do not involve monetary matters. Therefore before you meet up with your prenuptial attorney, you and your spouse should have a clear understanding of what you should include in the prenuptial agreement. Draft several terms and conditions, and present them to your lawyers. Note that every person is liable to give accurate information regarding the ownership of income and assets. A prenup lawyer helps put the wishes of a legally married couple on a legal document for the state to recognize it as a binding and legal contract.

How to hire a qualified prenuptial lawyer?

Finding a qualified prenuptial lawyer in the US is not difficult. You can start by asking your friends and family for referrals, one of the best ways to hire a competent and professional prenuptial lawyer. The US has several resources that help you identify some of the best prenuptial lawyers in various states. They provide lawyer referral networks, which you can call, and you will talk with a representative about prenuptial agreements. The representative will connect you with an attorney whom you can talk to and receive answers about the terms and conditions surrounding a prenuptial agreement.

Is a Prenup Valid Without a Lawyer?

Prenup Definition

A prenup, or prenuptial agreement (aka premarital agreement, antenuptial agreement) is a contract between two individuals who are planning to get married.  

Why Have a Prenuptial Agreement?

In reality, prenups are not only for people in the 1%. A prenup can, for instance, protect you from later having to assume responsibility for the debts of your spouse.  It can also be great for preventing arguments in the event of a divorce, according to Rocketlawyer.com. 

When you have a prenup, you will: 

  • Feel secure knowing that your assets will be shared out how you would like them to be
  • Hold documentation in writing that verifies the ownership of your property, that of your spouse and all property that is jointly owned
  • Possess a thorough inventory of each spouse’s separate property
  • Be in the know about the legal ownership of any property, assets and income gained during the marriage . 
  • Take the guesswork out of the way in which you and your spouse’s finances should be dealt with under a variety of circumstances. 

When you don’t have a prenup in place, should you divorce or when one of you passes away, the handling of your estate is subject to the present divorce and probate legislation.

Is a Prenup Valid Without a Lawyer?

The short answer is it depends.  Much like with any type of contract, you create a prenuptial agreement without a lawyer.  There are templates to help draft your own prenup, some of which were supposedly reviewed by licensed lawyers.  That said, without a lawyer, you could possibly make yourself prenup that will be impossible to enforce in court.

Every jurisdiction has its own statutory and case law with regards to what is and is not permitted in a prenup.  Only a well-informed attorney would know and understand what these are to incorporate into your agreement.

On the other hand, the person asked to sign had to have been given a chance to get a lawyer or the option to forfeit that right.  Your prenup could be deemed invalid if it was signed in the absence of a lawyer.

Can a Prenup be Divergent from Marriage and Divorce Legislation?

The Family Code in the Golden State lays out the respective rights and obligations of wedded couples. Some of these marital rights are negotiable and can be superseded by an agreement. 

Terms can also be stipulated in the contract for making decisions in the event of the death of a spouse.

Yes, a prenup can be divergent from marriage and divorce legislation.

How Can I Know for Certain Whether or Not My Prenup is Valid?

To know whether or not a prenup is valid, check these criteria: 

  1. It has to be a written agreement, 
  2. It must have been signed voluntarily by both parties planning to wed
  3. There should have been a legal marriage between the parties who signed it.

If your marriage is annulled, your prenuptial agreement could end up being impossible to enforce, or enforcement of it may only be minimal.

Limitations of a Prenup

Several important limitations exist with regards to prenups in California:

  • Clauses Necessitating the Commission of a Crime A contract with clauses that necessitates that one or both of future spouses to commit crimes or otherwise violate laws or public policy would never be deemed valid.
  • Alimony/Spousal Support – Unrepresented Spouse The court won’t enforce any clause in a prenup that limits spousal support if the spouse whose rights would be  adversely affected had no opportunity to retain their own attorney at the time they signed.
  • Alimony/Spousal Support – Unconscionable Waiver If a court determines that a waiver of spousal support in your prenup is unconscionable, they have the power to override the stipulation and award spousal support. 
  • Child Support Obligation The California Family Code does not allow a prenup to limit or revoke child support obligations. It states: “[t]he right of a child to [receive] support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.” 
  • Non-Monetary Lifestyle Clauses Although they can be great conversation pieces, lifestyle clauses which, for example, dictate the terms of sexual relations between the spouses or outline restrictions on visits from in-laws normally are not enforceable in a court of law.

The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

For a complete list of all of the relevant statutes relating to prenups in California, please refer to The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.