Pre & Post Nuptial Attorneys Serving All of Sonoma County
When entering into a marriage, some look to protect each spouse’s financial interests. In this case, Pre & Postnuptial agreements come into play. “Premarital Agreement” (also called a Prenuptial Agreement or an Antenuptial Agreement) means an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.” (Fam. Code §1610). In Sonoma County, a Santa Rosa Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements Lawyer becomes necessary.
California Prenuptial/Premarital Agreements
While a prenuptial agreement is still considered somewhat taboo; with some statistics stating that only about 3% get them, it wasn’t always.
“The practice of making premarital agreements is ancient. Marrying Jews have made marital contracts called “ketubahs” for more than two thousand years. The modern secular premarital agreements that exist in the United States can be traced back to sixteenth-century England. Many of the first premarital agreements were used by women as a way of protecting their own property. Until the nineteenth century, women were considered the property of their husbands, and what was the premarital property of a wife became the property of her husband. A premarital agreement became the only way for a woman contemplating marriage to retain control and possession of her own property.”
Common Myths Regarding Premarital Agreements
The following lists some of the most common, and false, reasons people forego a prenup.
- If he/she loved me, we wouldn’t need to get a prenup;
- He/she thinks this marriage will probably fail at some point;
- He/she cares about money and things more than us;
- Getting a prenup will increase the chance of getting divorced.
We at the Law Office of Paul Lozada believe that having a prenuptial agreement is a personal choice, but if chosen it is a wise one. We also believe that it can strengthen a marriage by taking out the awkwardness of talking about financial issues paving the way to a healthy marriage where both couples are entering it on even footing. Prenups help to make the situation fair for all involved.
*The choice is between a set of rules governed by the State of California or rules bargained for between you and your fiancé. Some reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement are:
- Protection of both spouses, not just the affluent one. Especially, if one spouse is entering marriage with significant debt; a prenup could protect the unencumbered spouse from taking on that debt if they were to divorce.
- Peace of mind, we buy insurance for our vehicles, life, health and home just “in case.” Insurance provides us with peace of mind. We are not necessarily expecting to use it, but it’s there if we need it. A prenuptial agreement works in much the same way except you, and your fiancé, get to decide how you want it drafted. The most common protections are
- Pre-determined Spousal support or Waiver of Spousal Support;
- Division of Separate property;
- Division of property;
- The making of a will, trust, or other arrangements to carry out your wishes can be included in a prenup;
- Possibly most important of all, when you and your fiancé are open to discussing a prenuptial agreement you learn how to communicate about your financial situation.
What Prenuptial Agreements Cannot Do
Although extremely helpful and in some cases highly advised, a Premarital Agreement is not a cover-all in Family Law. Here are some examples of what Prenups do not apply to:
- Child Custody and Child Support These are left to the court to decide based on what is in the best interest of the child;
- Child’s Religious Education;
- Spousal Support agreements. These can be included in the prenup but it can be scrutinized and cannot be considered unjust or unfair. While it might be tempting to dispense support, it may be better to place limits on such support if there is a wide disparity of income between the parties;
- Prenuptial Agreements cannot favor one side over the other. Substantive fairness means that the actual provisions of the agreement are fair to each party. Although this can be scrutinized in a long-term marriage and the agreement could later be held unfair.
Word of caution: Prenuptial Agreements must be done legally. Simply scribbling something on a napkin will not hold up! Additionally, a prenup is void if the party against whom a prenup was sought was not represented by their own counsel or they did not expressly waive their right to counsel in writing (Fam. Code §1615).
For an interesting read, click here what happened to Steven Spielberg and actress Amy Irving after they divorced.
Call the Law Office of Paul Lozada today for a complimentary consultation at (707) 636-3272 to discuss your needs. An experienced Santa Rosa Family Law Attorney can help.
A Postnuptial Agreement is an agreement between a married couple that outlines property division and spousal support if the marriage ends in divorce.
We are Already Married; Why Should I Consider a Postnuptial Agreement?
- If you had children from a previous marriage you might want to safeguard some of your assets for your children;
- If someone is unfaithful it may be seen as a token of good faith to sign a postnup;
- Does your spouse have a gambling addiction or is he/she careless with the finances? A postnup can provide you with some financial protection. It can specify the terms of such assets and debts if things don’t work out;
- Spouses may be moving to a non-community property state.
It has been said that when there is a Postnuptial Agreement in place, it allows the couple to work on the underlying issues in their marriage that are causing the problems without worrying excessively about finances and what would happen in the event of a separation or divorce.
Call One of Our Pre & Post Nuptial Lawyers Now
When the choice is made to sign for a post or prenuptial agreement, you will need the right attorney to guide you through the process. Lawyer Paul Lozada has a solid understanding of these form and agreements. If you are thinking of having a postnuptial agreement, please call the Law Office of Paul Lozada today at (707) 636-3272.