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Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements in California: What You Need to Know

Are you about to get married or contemplating a prenup or postnup relating to marriage in California? You likely have many concerns like, “What will my partner or spouse think if I suggest a prenup or a postnup?” “Will I ruin my relationship or marriage?” “How should I approach the topic without alienating my loved one?”

If you’ve experienced any of these worries, we understand. At Anthoor Law Group in Fremont, California, we have helped countless people like you find a solution that honors your relationship and protects both partners. As prenuptial and postnuptials lawyers, we can help you plan wisely for anything the future might hold.

While no one enters a marriage expecting a divorce, protecting your interests with a prenuptial agreement (prenup) or postnuptial agreement (postnup) is an excellent idea. These agreements outline how to divide the marital estate, provide spousal support, and protect business assets. Read on to discover more about prenups and postnups, then call (510) 794-2887 to schedule a consultation to explore your options and determine which one is right for you.

What Are Prenuptial Contracts?

A prenuptial contract is an agreement made before the marriage, describing each partner’s separate assets they will take with them if the marriage dissolves. Your prenup would hold whether you divorce in 10 years or 75.

Your prenup lawyer can help you draft a binding agreement to protect any separate property or assets you bring into the marriage. For California to recognize your prenup, it must:

  • Be a written contract
  • Contain lawful terms
  • Have voluntary signatures from both spouses-to-be
  • Have a notary’s signature and stamp
  • Have a seven-day waiting period to seek independent legal counsel before signing

Spouses can protect separate assets in their prenuptial contracts, including business ownership and income, bank accounts, stocks, and inheritances. A prenup can also help you determine how to split assets and debts, how much to pay in spousal support (alimony), or whether you and your spouse will decide to waive spousal support.

An experienced family law attorney can help you determine assets and debts to protect and which to divide with a prenup.

Should I Get a Prenup?

In some instances, married couples should consider a prenup to keep their separate assets out of the shared marital estate. A couple may wish to consider a prenup if one or both spouses:

  • Have individual wealth and accumulated assets
  • Have unusual debts
  • Have inherited or expect to inherit a large sum or property
  • Own a business before marrying
  • Have previously been married
  • Have children from a previous marriage

Common reasons people opt for a prenup might relate to a large disparity in wealth or income between the couple or if one person expects to inherit and wants to keep those assets separate. A family lawyer can help determine whether a prenup is right for you.

Why Would I Need a Postnup?

Unlike a prenup, a postnup is drafted during the marriage. In California, a postnup must reflect the “highest good faith and fair dealings.” Since it involves the spouses’ fiduciary obligation to one another, you should have your prenup lawyer guide you through drafting, filing, and gaining court approval. You can file a postnup at any time during the marriage, whether you have been married for 10, 20, or even 60 years.

Most people choose a postnup because marriages change over time. One spouse may incur large debts from a failed business venture or start a successful business that becomes highly profitable. Another scenario would be if neither expected a large inheritance when they married, but a distant unknown relative passed away, causing one spouse to receive a large sum as the only surviving heir.

Your postnup lawyer can help you and your spouse determine what separate assets to protect and how to proceed regarding the division of other assets, debts, and applicable financial considerations, including:

  • Spousal support awards, exceptions, limitations, or waivers
  • Legal fees for challenging the postnup during a divorce
  • Asset divisions to prevent dissatisfactory distribution by the Court
  • Asset management for children’s inheritance
  • Asset division for non-divorce permanent separation

How Do I Find a Prenup or Postnup Lawyer in California?

If you are seeking a prenup lawyer, work with a firm that is well-experienced with these contracts, familiar with the implications, and invested in getting the best results for you. Both prenups and postnups can be delicate subjects, and although it has lessened in recent years, a stigma still surrounds them. Many couples appreciate the strategic value of incorporating prenups into their marriage plans. They would not want to inadvertently set up a bitter fight with the person they love and plan to marry.

Likewise, married couples can react to circumstances and prevent later surprises and disagreements by utilizing a postnup. Your family law attorney should understand how to properly counsel couples to make the best use of this often underappreciated and misunderstood tool for estate and relationship planning.

At Anthoor Law Group, we can help you navigate the complexities of a prenup before your wedding or a postnup during your marriage.

Contact the Anthoor Law Group to Work with an Experienced Family Law Attorney in the Bay Area

By working with a knowledgeable family law attorney to create a prenup or postnup, you can take back control of what happens to your assets by preparing your contingency plan instead of leaving it to the law to decide. Getting married is a voluntary choice, and it is natural to seek to retain control by way of an agreement over the fate of your assets after your wedding day. Whether or not you are already married, we can help you retain or regain that control. We do whatever it takes.

Our multilingual law firm offers family law and estate planning to a diverse set of clients in Alameda County and the Bay Area. If you need an experienced prenup lawyer, call Anthoor Law Group at (510) 794-2887, or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.

Copyright © 2022. Anthoor Law Group, A Professional Corporation. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (post) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Anthoor Law Group, A Professional Corporation
39210 State Street, Suite 100
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 794-2887
anthoorlawgroup.com

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Anthoor Law Group, A Professional Corporation a law firm, is conveniently located in Fremont, California. We are committed to providing each of our clients with the highest quality of legal representation possible.

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