Articles Posted in Postnuptial Agreement

mortgage-and-money-6-1237957 (2)Each state in the country has the authority to enact laws governing divorce proceedings. Statutes cover items such as the division of property, spousal support, child custody disputes, and intricate procedural matters. These provisions can vary a great deal, depending on where you live. It is important to understand how the laws in your state affect each spouse’s property interests, child custody (and support) arrangements, and other significant financial and legal issues. If you are facing a separation or divorce, you are encouraged to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney from the local San Diego area.

One of the most contentious issues in divorce tends to involve the division of property. Here in California, courts seek to identify and characterize property in accordance with “community property” notions. This means that property acquired or accumulated during the marriage is generally considered “marital” or “community” property, subject to division between the parties upon divorce. The couple, however, may enter into what is known as a “prenuptial” or “postnuptial” agreement in order to circumvent or avoid certain property distribution laws. Such agreements are typically enforceable in California, but the language and manner in which these agreements are executed must adhere to local law.

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to-sign-a-contract-2-1236630 (1)Couples who intend to marry, or who are already married, have a variety of tools with which to legally identify their respective interests in assorted assets and debts existing between them. Depending on the particular circumstances, parties may choose to prepare and sign a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement, setting forth these rights to property and other assets, should the couple seek to divorce. Of course, the document must adhere to local laws applicable to such matters. As with most family law issues, it is important to ensure that your legal and financial interests are protected, no matter which agreement you intend to sign. Couples are encouraged to seek the assistance of an experienced San Diego family law attorney as early in the process as possible.

As a general matter, courts will uphold “nuptial” agreements as long as they are considered to be equitably constructed under fair and just circumstances. And while historically courts seemed to have preferred pre- over postnuptial agreements, there has been an increase in the number of couples entering into postnuptial agreements. In a recent California divorce case, the couple signed a postnuptial agreement after almost 30 years of marriage. The parties got married in 1979 and entered into the agreement in 2010, which identified the couple’s respective interests in certain properties and two corporations. In 2012, the wife filed for divorce.

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