Protecting Your Status
When most people think of prenuptial agreements, they automatically think of the stereotypical wealthy man taking advantage of a much younger bride-to-be, forcing her to sign her rights away in exchange for the wedding. However, prenuptial agreements are actually an incredibly useful tool for couples prior to marriage to establish property rights, reinforce estate plans, and settle issues that may arise later in life before the marriage even occurs. If you are interested in learning more about prenuptial agreements in the Pasadena area, talk to one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys at Greene Law today.
Establishing Equal Partnerships Through Prenuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement in California is an excellent tool for couples to utilize before a wedding. This document allows each person to control their financial future in the case of divorce or death of the other spouse. Each party can go into the marriage knowing exactly what he or she will walk away with if the marriage ends and they can, together, create equity between spouses. It also allows spouses-to-be to have open and honest conversations about money and property issues prior to the marriage, and it provides peace of mind for people who are concerned about the possibility of litigation if the marriage ends.
What Prenuptial Agreements Can and Cannot Do
California law dictates what can and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements can include terms that secure, modify, or give up certain property rights. This includes real estate, personal property, and spousal support. A prenuptial agreement can also convert separate property into community property upon divorce or clarify what assets entered into the marriage as separate property and will remain that way if a divorce occurs. Prenuptial agreements can also include terms that clarify inheritance rights for children and grandchildren, which can be particularly useful if one or both spouses have children from prior relationships and are creating a blended family.
However, there are also some items that cannot be included in a California prenuptial agreement. For example, you cannot agree to waive your right to share in an ERISA-backed employee benefit plan or retirement account because those items are dictated by federal law. You also cannot include anything concerning child custody, visitation, and support. These items are determined by the court using the “best interests of the child” standard, and parents are not allowed to dictate what those best interests are in a divorce. Finally, a California prenuptial agreement cannot contain any penalties or relationship duties for the marriage. Some of the most commonly struck provisions include bonuses to one spouse if the other commits adultery or requiring domestic duties as part of the marriage arrangement.
How Our Office Can Help
Our knowledgeable family law attorneys have years of experience crafting prenuptial agreements that fit the specific needs of our clients. We work with you and discuss what is most important to solidify in a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. Our office ensures that the documentation is collected, the agreement is drafted to the satisfaction of both parties, and files the paperwork with the court. Our office prides itself on our constant communication with our clients and are here to answer any questions you may have about creating a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage.
Call or Contact Us Today
If you would like to discuss creating a prenuptial agreement for you and your partner, call or contact our office at Greene Law in Pasadena to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys today.