San Jose Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
Planning For The Future With Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements
Getting married is a big commitment, both legally and personally. Marriage means bringing two separate lives together and committing to an unknown future. This can be both exciting and scary.
If you are getting married later in life or considering getting remarried, you may worry about safeguarding some aspects of your life from risk. A prenuptial agreement can help you protect your children from a previous marriage, limit risk to business assets, and allow you and your spouse to embark on your life together with peace of mind.
Our San Jose prenuptial & postnuptial agreement attorneys at Foster Hsu, LLP, can help you prepare a marital agreement that will address your needs and withstand legal scrutiny. Call 408-841-7200 to schedule a consultation.
Does A Prenuptial Agreement Mean Planning For Divorce?
While some may view these agreements as a plan for failure, they can actually be a positive step toward a future together. People often get married with little discussion about their financial future and what that would look like.
A prenuptial agreement can answer a lot of questions, remove the potential for disagreement and provide a roadmap for the couple during the marriage regarding how to handle their finances. Premarital agreements protect or waive important rights in the event of a divorce or legal separation. A prenuptial agreement is a way to have the discussion with your partner and give you peace of mind as you continue your life together.
What can a Prenuptial Agreement be Used for?
The parties are free to craft the prenuptial agreement to address their specific needs and concerns. Some of the most common uses of a prenuptial agreement are:
Property Division. Overall, people are waiting longer to marry than they used to, which means by the time they do marry, each partner has already acquired a significant amount of separate property (and sometimes debt). Separate property is not divided in a California divorce; only community property is. But separate property can become community property during the marriage depending on how it is handled. A prenuptial agreement can clearly spell out property that is to be kept separate and not subject to division. This action can be important to keep a business from being divided in a divorce or to preserve one individual’s interest in their separate property residence.
Spousal Support. Each spouse has legitimate needs and concerns when it comes to the issue of spousal support, also known as alimony. For instance, spouses who give up a career to take care of children or manage the home want to know they’ll be taken care of if the marriage falls apart. Likewise, spouses who go into marriage with a large amount of independent wealth want to know they won’t be taken advantage in the event of a divorce. By discussing the matter before marriage, both parties can make practical, rational decisions that meet their needs and interests and avoid emotional or costly legal battles down the road.
Protect Children from a Previous Marriage. About 40% of marriages these days are remarriages with children, also known as blended families. These marriages also account for about 60% of divorces. Making a second marriage work can be challenging, and parents want to know their kids will be protected if things don’t work out. Divorce as well as the death of a spouse can set up conflicts between the second spouse and the children of the prior marriage. Prenuptial agreements can require a spouse to take out a life insurance policy of a certain amount and dictate how the beneficiaries will be designated. Similarly, the prenup can require the making of a will with specific provisions that provide for the children as well as the surviving spouse.
What is Required to Make a Valid Prenuptial Agreement in California?
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract signed by both parties, and it becomes effective upon marriage. To make sure the agreement will be upheld in court as valid and enforceable if it is ever needed, the process of creating the prenup involves several features, namely:
- Each party is represented by their own attorney during the document’s creation. If a party waives their right to an attorney, this waiver should be clearly spelled out in writing and signed.
- Each party had an opportunity to review the agreement with an attorney at least seven (7) days before signing it.
- The parties entered into the agreement voluntarily. Neither party was coerced, forced or tricked into signing the agreement.
- Each party disclosed enough facts about their property and finances so the other party could make an informed decision regarding the terms of the agreement.
A prenuptial agreement may involve the waiver of spousal support or other “rights,” and it may seem unfair to an outside party, but courts will generally uphold an agreement unless it is so one-sided the court deems the agreement unconscionable. Also, while a prenuptial agreement can address a wide range of matters, it can’t go against the public policy of California. For instance, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can’t restrict a parent’s rights regarding child custody or child support. Such provisions would be unenforceable and could possibly render the entire agreement invalid.
When Is A Postnuptial Agreement Needed?
A postnuptial agreement functions like a prenuptial agreement. The primary difference is that couples create it after the marriage is official. We can help you craft a postnuptial agreement that meets your needs and respects the rights of both spouses, delivering practical solutions and peace of mind.
When you have a clear plan for what is going to happen in a certain situation, it can help you avoid conflict. With a postnuptial agreement, there is no uncertainty about asset ownership, allowing you to focus on your relationship rather than possessions.
Make An Appointment with Our San Jose Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Attorneys
Our San Jose prenuptial & postnuptial agreement attorneys can help you, and your spouse, create an agreement that will support your future. Contact us online or call 408-841-7200 to make an appointment at our San Jose office.