Redlands Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Attorneys
A Postnuptial Agreement Can Account for Redlands Life Changes
Postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenuptial agreements, but they are drafted after a couple is married. A postnuptial agreement is an option if you missed the deadline for creating a premarital agreement. An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through this process.
Sometimes, a couple may choose to work with an attorney to draft a postnuptial agreement that replaces a prenuptial agreement. In these instances, the existing agreement may no longer reflect the couple’s preferences. In other instances, the couple may decide to draft an agreement regarding the settlement of assets for the first time. Here are some of the major life changes that can result in the need for a new postnuptial agreement:
Marital Children: Many California couples start a marriage with no intention of having a child or believing they are unable to have a child. When children then join the family through birth or adoption, it becomes necessary to work with an attorney and make plans that reflect new priorities.
Extramarital Children: If children resulted from an affair or during a temporary separation, the couple may decide to hire a lawyer to draft a postnuptial agreement. Sometimes, the intention is to placate the other partner and encourage him or her to stay by offering better benefits for remaining for a certain number of years.
Career Sacrifices: Another common reason couples ask a lawyer for help with a postnuptial agreement is after one spouse gives up a career for the other. Sometimes, one spouse does this to move to a new country temporarily or to travel with the other spouse. In other instances, temporary illness or preparing for the addition of a child may lead to this decision.
Financial Changes: If one partner is on the verge of or has experienced a change in financial situation, the couple may wish to draft a plan to protect both parties. The higher earner could want to ensure he or she does not lose everything he or she worked for in a split, while the lower earner wants to ensure he or she gets a fair share if the marriage ends.
Intellectual Property: When someone creates something valuable, that person naturally holds it dear. For instance, a wife could write a book she believes might become a best seller or the husband could create a new app. In either case, a lawyer-drafted California postnuptial agreement can safeguard that creation in case of divorce.
Business Partnership: When business partners divorce, their shares of the business may become marital property during property division proceedings. Because of this, proactive business owners ensure each partner signs a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to protect the business from divorce.
Redlands Prenuptial and Postnuptial FAQs
Drafting a settlement agreement of any kind between a married couple is a big decision. Here are some of the questions you may have for your attorney along the way.
How do I convince my spouse to sign it?
Maybe you want to create an agreement, but your spouse does not. For the document to hold up in court, your spouse or spouse-to-be must sign it freely. Convincing your partner when he or she is not already onboard might feel impossible, but there are some things you can do to make it easier:
- Begin by asking your partner what he or she wants instead of telling him or her what you want to protect.
- Explain what protections you are willing to put in place for your partner as well as yourself.
- Be open and honest about the reason you want the agreement.
- If there are children or you plan to have children, show what provisions you have in place for them.
- Make a fair offer that is hard to turn down.
How do I make sure our agreement is valid?
Many couples create agreements only to realize they are not enforceable in divorce court. The statutes and laws affecting prenuptial agreements are complex and onerous. They must be adhered to strictly or the resulting agreement may very well be entirely voidable. Generally, the following are the bare minimums that should be followed.
- The agreement must be in writing.
- The parties should each be independently represented by counsel. Although this can be avoided it is not recommended and requires technical adherence to the conditions allowing self-representation.
- The agreement cannot negatively affect child support payments or the court’s ability to determine child custody proceedings.
- If one or both parties waived the right to spousal support, keep in mind the validity of the agreement will not be decided until the agreement is sought to be enforced. At that time the circumstances may have changed to render the agreement unenforceable.
- Both parties need to make full disclosures of their financial situations, including all assets and debts.
- The receiving party should receive at least seven days to review and sign the contract. However, it is the better practice to allow more time and eliminate any future dispute as to whether the agreement was done voluntarily.
What does it mean when an agreement is silent?
It means the same thing it does in any other aspect of California law. Any legal document that is “silent” on a certain matter does not address it. For instance, a prenuptial agreement may mention what happens to the primary dwelling but not the vacation home. When this happens, the agreement will likely not apply to this unmentioned asset.