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What is covered by a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreement can either spell out how assets would be divided in the event of a divorce, or it can serve as a safety net for the couple’s individual contributions to the marriage, such as property and finances. Most couples opt to sign a prenuptial agreement right before marriage. We’ll go over the terms of a prenuptial agreement in this article.
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cover?
According to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), a written prenuptial agreement signed by both parties can address a couple’s current and future property rights, as well as other marital issues. It cannot, however, impact a child’s right to child support or remove a court’s authority over child custody and visitation rights.
Prenuptial agreements, like regular contracts, require valid permission, which means a person must have the mental capacity to consent and that consent cannot be obtained through deception, improper influence, or error.
According to the UPAA, California prenuptial agreements can only be enforced against a spouse if that spouse:
Even if all of the foregoing requirements are met, any clause in the agreement impacting future spousal support rights will be unenforceable if the spouse did not hire an independent attorney. In the case of a divorce, the couple can agree to alter, or even totally give up, spousal support rights if the agreement fits the preceding standards, if the result isn’t fair. Courts have also indicated that any alimony waiver will only be enforced between spouses of comparable education and intelligence who were both financially self-sufficient at the time of the agreement.
Under addition to renouncing spousal support, each spouse in an agreement can decide whether separate or community property should be treated differently. That example, if one spouse owns a house and the other does not.
Spouses can also agree that communal property, such as profits earned during the marriage, is separate property, which would normally be shared equally in the case of a divorce. Couples may also choose to forego inheritance rights and incorporate specific terms in a will or trust, as long as such agreements do not compromise minor children’s support rights.
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Exclude?
Because of other legal restrictions, certain rights cannot be surrendered in a prenuptial agreement. The agreement cannot include anything that is illegal or against public policy, such as their children’s rights, which are still under the supervision of the courts, which will act in the best interests of the child in the event of a divorce. In other words, in the event of a divorce, the courts will always have the right to make choices for your child; a prenuptial agreement cannot change this.
However, a spouse might choose to offer more support to a child than the law mandates. They might, for example, agree on how to split the cost of a child’s future college education. In most cases, agreements on how to raise children will be difficult to come by. . Following divorce, a court is unlikely to enforce a premarital agreement to raise the children in a certain religion.
Remember that spousal misconduct or blame is not taken into account by California courts when dividing property or awarding spousal support, so any agreement that tries to punish one spouse for “fault” during the marriage will be unenforceable. Furthermore, public legislation forbids agreements that alter marriage-related responsibilities such as mutual respect, loyalty, and support. An agreement to pay remuneration for “companionship” isn’t valid, for example, because companionship is necessarily a marriage duty.
For legal advice, contact Spodek Law Group.
If you have any legal questions regarding establishing a prenuptial agreement or are concerned about the agreement’s enforceability, seek legal advice from an experienced and reputable attorney. Spodek Law Group’s family lawyers can review the provisions of your prenuptial agreement and clarify any elements that are in or out of your best interests.
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