5 Things to Know About Prenuptial Agreements in California

Prenuptial agreements are premarital contracts that are designed to protect spouses in the event that a marriage does not last. Below are the five most important things to know about prenuptial agreements in California.

  1. Average Americans Can Benefit From Prenuptial Agreements. Many people think that prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous, but the average American can benefit immensely from a prenuptial agreement as he or she heads into a marriage. A prenup gives the soon-to-be married spouses the ability to make decisions for themselves, in the form of a contingency plan, if and when their marriage ends. When a couple does not have a prenuptial agreement in place and gets divorced, their assets, finances, debts, and property will be divided according to California divorce law.
  • Prenups are Often Used to Manage Financial Matters. Prenuptial agreements are a great way for soon-to-be spouses to control their future financial situations. The premarital contract gives spouses the opportunity to protect themselves financially and sets out agreed-upon rules that the spouses will follow if and when their marriage ends through divorce. Think of a prenup as an insurance policy - you never hope that you will need it, but if you do need it, you will be glad that you took the time to get one.
  1. Prenups Cannot Deal With Issues Related to Children. Child support, child custody, and visitation are all topics which cannot be included in a premarital agreement. The reasoning behind this restriction is that child support and other child-related matters, involve the rights of the child as a person, and thus the parents should not be permitted to negotiate the child's rights away.
  • Alimony (Spousal Support) in a California Prenup. In California, a prenuptial agreement can be used to waive or limit alimony support otherwise known as Spousal Support. This means that spousal support, in the event of a divorce, could be waived altogether, or could be limited in amount or the duration that it will be paid to the recipient spouse. However, the terms related to the alimony must be reasonably fair. If the terms are considered to be unconscionable, or reasonably unfair, a judge might be disinclined to uphold the alimony portion of the prenup. It is essential that you consult with an attorney if you want a prenuptial agreement dealing with this issue.
  1. Hire a Lawyer to Draft Your California Prenuptial Agreement. Prenuptial agreements are a good investment, and because a prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract, it is important that each spouse is represented by their own lawyer when preparing the agreement. Not only will an experienced family law attorney be able to advise you on what should and should not be included in your prenuptial agreement, they will also be able to help you identify any potential pitfalls you might face given your particular circumstances.

Contact A Ventura Family Law Attorney

Deciding to get a prenuptial agreement can be a complicated decision for many couples. While the idea of a prenuptial agreement might seem unromantic or distrusting, the benefits to having a contingency plan when you need it are immeasurable. At Negley Law, our experienced family law attorneys know what a prenuptial agreement can do for our clients, and we are here to help, advise, and prepare you a prenuptial agreement that suits your needs. When you need a family law attorney in Ventura County or have questions regarding prenuptial agreements, contact our firm anytime. Our initial consultations are free, and we look forward to meeting with you. Call Negley Law today at (805) 644-4222 to learn more.