Disclaimer: This blog does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
Establishing a prenuptial agreement (prenup) is something many couples do to protect their finances, property, and other significant assets in the event they divorce or legally separate in the future. The agreement may be legally binding and may be enforced by the family court. The experts from Divorce Options San Diego—the experts in divorce mediation San Diego couples trust for a comprehensive, resolution-based alternative to expensive, time-consuming divorce litigation—explain prenuptial agreements and why they’re a good idea for many couples.
What Is a Prenup?
A prenup is a private contract created and signed by couples before they get married. The details typically include the division of assets in the event of a divorce or death. The laws are different in every state. For San Diego marriages, California law will determine the way the prenuptial agreement is enforced and what’s acceptable to list in the private contract. Couples should research the requirements of their states to determine what’s most beneficial with regard to the terms of their prenups prior to getting married. There are rigorous and complex procedures parties must follow in order for a court to enforce a prenuptial agreement.
Failing to disclose financial assets and property when creating a prenuptial agreement is prohibited in the state of California. These assets include any future inheritance either party is aware of and may receive from a relative, friend, mentor, or business associate. Both parties must fully disclose their assets before the document is signed to ensure it remains valid at the time of a divorce or death.
What Cannot Be Included?
The state of California prohibits the inclusion of anything that’s illegal and goes against public policy. For example, if you decide to divorce and there are small children involved, a family court will ensure your children’s rights and interests are protected at all times, and those rights cannot be contracted in a prenuptial agreement. Public policy also prevents couples from negotiating relationship duties of the marriage, such as fidelity and mutual respect.
What Can Make the Prenuptial Agreement Invalid?
In the state of California, no one must be coerced into signing the private contract. If your spouse intimidated you and forced you to sign the prenup under duress, it may not be legally binding at the time of divorce. Before signing prenups, couples have the right to seek independent legal counsel to discuss the terms and laws, and they usually must do so in order for a prenup to be enforced by a court. Your partner must give you at least seven days to speak with a lawyer or legal representative before you sign the private contract. The prenup could also be ruled invalid if the agreement was based on deceit and not endorsed by an authorized notary.
Changes to the Agreement
The private contract can be rewritten after the wedding, as long as both parties are in agreement about the changes. When negotiating a new document, seek professional legal advice to ensure your rights are protected. Couples who married without prenups could be eligible for postnuptial agreements to avoid complicated matters in the future.
If you’re getting divorced, whether you have a prenuptial agreement or not, mediation can be the right choice for you. Mediation is a divorce solution focused on meeting the needs of everyone in the family. Couples looking for an alternative to the expense and animosity of traditional attorney-centered divorce should reach out to the experienced professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. We’re divorce mediators San Diego couples rely on to help them dissolve their marriages in a way that’s based on respect and mutual satisfaction. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628 to learn more.