Articles Posted in PreNuptial

Typically, engaged couples intend to marry and spend the rest of their lives together. In reality, however, a large number of marriages end in divorce. Many people living in the San Diego area have substantial assets and want to take the practical step of entering into a prenuptial agreement before they marry. Prenuptial agreements permit people to delineate their property rights in the event that they divorce, but many people do not understand the scope and limitations of such contracts. If you have questions about prenuptial agreements, it is in your best interest to speak to a trusted San Diego family law attorney to learn about your options.

What Renders a Prenuptial Agreement Unenforceable in California?

In California, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) sets forth the requirements and rules regarding prenuptial agreements. Specifically, it states that such agreements are contracts that are not valid unless the parties that signed the agreement marry. Prenuptial agreement are not enforceable unless they are in writing, signed by both parties and a notary, and each party is given at least a week to obtain independent legal counsel before signing. Agreements that are not be signed voluntarily, without intimidation or coercion, are unenforceable as well.

What Can I Include in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Essentially, prenuptial agreements establish property rights. In other words, they can define what assets are the separate property of one spouse, what belongs to both parties, and how any property obtained during the marriage should be divided in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also dictate whether either party will receive alimony should the marriage end. They cannot be used to define the right to child custody or child support, however. Continue reading

Couples use a prenuptial agreement to address the parties’ interest in the assets and debts in the event of separation or divorce. A prenuptial agreement is also helpful in the death of one spouse. It can assist in resolving problems regarding distributions of marital debts as well as assets. A prenuptial agreement is becoming common, but couples can be hesitant to sign one. You can make your decision by considering how a prenuptial agreement can help you. (See Family Code section 1610).

Marriages are not only a romantic relationship, but also a kind of business-based relationship. To, secure everyone’s financial interest is extremely useful.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. It is significant to understand the drawbacks of what you are going to do? If we talk about it from emotional viewpoint, couples may feel awkward when approaching the idea of a prenuptial agreement. It also creates a sense of distrust between the two people in love who are expecting to become one in future.

The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC practices in all aspects of family law including divorce, legal separation and paternity. Call us today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced family law attorney.

Leave all the confusing paperwork, filings and pleadings to us. Don’t worry about frustrating negotiations with the opposing party or opposing counsel. We are here to make your life easier. We assist with divorce, legal separations, and motions for child custody, child visitation, spousal support, alimony, attorney fees, residence exclusion orders and others. We represent clients in family law court in all of the court houses in San Diego County including downtown, Vista, Chula Vista and El Cajon.

Adele and husband Simon Konecki wed in 2016. After 3 years of marriage, Adele announced she is separating from her husband.

Do you need a top San Diego family law attorney to assist you with your prenuptial agreement? Are you not sure if a prenuptial agreement is for you? Trust the attorneys at The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC to protect your rights. Call today at 800-769-4748 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.

While getting a prenup might not be the most romantic thing to do during your engagement, it might be one of the most important things you do. Yes, even more important than your venue, flower arrangements and wedding cake.

A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, is a legally binding contract created by two people before they get married. A prenuptial agreement addresses separate property, property acquired during the marriage, and the rights each spouse has to the property if they divorce.

The division of community property in divorce can be a tedious and contentious process. The parties must identify, characterize, and place a value on all assets that may be subject to division. To avoid this task, couples often choose to prepare a prenuptial agreement in advance of the marriage, a document that sets out how any existing and future assets will be treated should the couple get divorced. Alternatively known as an “ante-nuptial agreement,” this document also allows the parties to preserve their separate interests in certain assets. It is not uncommon for one party or the other to question the validity and enforceability of a prenuptial agreement. In order to ensure that the document is prepared and executed in compliance with California law, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney from the San Diego area.

In a recent divorce case, the wife challenged the trial court’s determination that the couple entered into a valid and enforceable prenuptial agreement. Here, the parties were married in 1995 and separated in 2001. At the time of their marriage, the wife seemed to be the spouse with more financial stability. She was a successful and talented artist, owned her own home, had a large retirement fund, and earned considerably more than her husband. His career was not as lucrative, but he got a job right before signing the prenuptial agreement that provided health insurance.

According to the husband, the couple agreed to execute a prenuptial agreement because the wife had already been divorced twice, and she did not want to “co-mingle” their assets and income. They each signed the agreement and initialed the bottom of each page, and a notary signed and acknowledged the document. In 1995, the husband began working for Microsoft and earned a significant amount of money over the next 13 years. The couple separated in 2001, and since then they have lived apart. The husband filed for divorce in 2012, and in 2013 he sought an order from the court that no community property existed due to the prenuptial agreement.
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Section 2030 of the California Family Code clearly authorizes courts to issue an award of attorney fees to parties to divorce actions. When a party makes such a request under this statute, the court determines whether an award of such fees and costs is appropriate, whether the parties have disparate access to funds to retain counsel, and whether one of the spouses is able to pay for the legal representation of both. Courts have concluded that the purpose of the statute is to provide “parity” – a fair hearing with both sides equally represented. Interestingly enough, a party’s financial resources are but one factor that the court considers in determining how to allocate the overall cost of litigation equitably between the parties. It is vitally important to understand your financial rights in a divorce proceeding. An experienced San Diego family law attorney would best be able to identify and assess your rights and protect your financial future.

While the statute is clear with respect to the court’s authority, every divorce case is unique, and whether any one party would be entitled to an award of fees and costs is decided based on the facts and circumstances presented. In a recent, complicated divorce case initiated in California, the parties disputed the court’s award to the wife of pendente lite attorney fees to litigate a matter her husband brought in Nevada. Prior to their marriage, the couple signed a prenuptial agreement in Nevada, identifying Nevada law as governing the interpretation and enforcement of its terms.They also entered into a marital settlement agreement ratifying the prenuptial agreement. After separating and then reconciling, the parties subsequently entered into a post-marital agreement allowing the wife to seek fees and costs from the court in which a potential divorce action is pending.
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The most simple divorce case is not easy. Without question, there are difficult emotional and financial aspects to any dissolution of marriage. But certain cases are simply more complicated and unconventional than others, requiring the parties – and their attorneys — to be fully apprised of the most current laws applicable to family law matters. It is often argued that parties to divorce cases that involve children are especially encouraged to engage a family law attorney to handle the matter. If you are considering divorce, you are encouraged to contact an experienced family law attorney who is aware of the local laws and procedures affecting San Diego family court matters.

A highly unusual case making recent headlines concerns a bitter divorce between a former host of “The View” — Sherri Shepherd and her T.V. writer, husband — Lamar Sally. According to a recent news article, the couple is seeking to divorce after just three years of marriage, and after commissioning a surrogate to have a baby for them through in-vitro fertilization. The embryo was created using a donated egg and Sally’s sperm. To add to this complicated scenario, there have been reports that Shepherd does not intend to raise the child, pay for any related expenses, and wants no parental rights or responsibilities. The child is due to be born later this month.

On May 2nd, Sally filed a separation petition in Los Angeles Superior Court citing irreconcilable differences. Four days later Shepherd responded by filing divorce papers in New Jersey where the couple had lived together. Interestingly enough, California recently passed a law recognizing surrogate births as valid, whereas New Jersey generally does not recognize the validity of surrogate birth arrangements. Sally is requesting full legal and physical custody of the child and is asking the court to declare the prenuptial agreement to be invalid due to fraud.
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According to a study recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology, women who have cold feet and get married anyway are approximately two-and-one-half times more likely to divorce. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, asked 464 newly married couples whether they had doubts prior to getting married. 47 percent of men and 38 percent of women reportedly admitted to premarital doubts. Despite that more husbands than wives claimed to experience marital hesitation, researchers found that uncertainty on the part of the wife was a better indicator of future divorce.

Four years after the study began, about 19 percent of women who admitted to pre-wedding jitters were divorced. Only eight percent of those who did not express doubts were no longer married. Additionally, approximately 14 percent of men who experienced feelings of hesitation prior to getting married were divorced four years later. Only eight percent of men who did not report cold feet were divorced. Neither spouse admitted to premarital doubts in 36 percent of the 464 couples surveyed. Four years later, only six percent of those couples were no longer married.

According to researchers, people who were hesitant about getting married were also less satisfied with their marriages four years later. Lead study author Justin Lavne said it is unclear whether the doubts of those individuals who were uncertain about getting married were specific to their partner or the institution of marriage in general.

Although no one likes to think their marriage will end in divorce, most people in California would benefit from executing a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple prior to marriage that will normally outline any spousal support or property division obligations in the event of a divorce. In the State of California, a prenuptial agreement must meet strict criteria and may not address child custody and support obligations. If you are considering marriage, you should contact an experienced Southern California family law attorney to discuss the options available to protect your financial interests.
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Music star Stevie Wonder recently filed for divorce in Los Angeles from his wife of 11 years, Kai Millard Morris. Although the couple has been married since 2001, they reportedly separated in 2009. Wonder, whose real name is Stevland Morris, cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the couple’s split. In his petition, he reportedly agreed to pay an unspecified amount of child and spousal support and asked the court to award him joint custody of the couple’s two children, 10-year-old Kailand and 7-year-old Mandla.

Although Wonder amassed most of his fortune prior to meeting his wife in 1999, some of the couple’s assets will likely be split due to California’s community property laws. According to California law, any assets earned during the course of a marriage are shared equally among spouses in the absence of a premarital or other agreement to the contrary. Additionally, the couple will likely not be required to share any assets earned after they separated.

Although no one likes to think their marriage will end in divorce, this case is just another example of a couple who likely would have benefited from entering into a prenuptial agreement. In California, a premarital agreement is a contract entered into by a couple prior to marriage. A premarital agreement will normally outline any spousal support or property division obligations in the event of a divorce. In California, a prenuptial agreement must meet stringent criteria and may not address child custody and support obligations. Judges will normally look to the California Family Law Code when determining whether a prenuptial agreement is enforceable. If you are considering entering into a premarital agreement in the State of California, you should contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your rights and help you protect your financial interests.

Getting divorced is often a stressful and emotional time. You are likely to have a host of questions about child custody and support, alimony, property settlement agreements, name changes, and many other family law matters. A skilled California family law lawyer can help.
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For high asset divorce cases in San Diego, the best time to protect your assets from divorce is before you are married. Many people are familiar with the concept of prenuptial agreements. However, there are strict rules that may affect the enforce ability of a California prenuptial agreement, and the advice of a knowledgeable attorney is essential to truly protect yourself as this is a complicated area of the law.

If you have a prenuptial agreement and are contemplating divorce, one of the first things you need to do is to have that agreement reviewed by an experience family lawyer to determine whether or not it is enforceable. Even an executed prenuptial agreement may have some of its terms set aside by the Family Law Courts. One common issue of this type is spousal support. If the court determines that spousal support is needed or the formalities not complied with, it can set aside the written agreement to the contrary.

There are two types of assets in divorce cases: separate and community. As a general rule, separate assets of the parties were obtained prior to the marriage or after the separation. Community assets were obtained during the marriage. Quasi-community assets were obtained during the marriage, but are located outside California.

Community assets are usually distributed equally with exceptions for omitted assets and breach of fiduciary duty and some other limited exceptions. It’s important to understand that separate assets can become community assets in certain circumstances. If you already have a high amount of separate assets, you don’t want to make the mistake of adding to community property assets that could remain separate but are not due to commingling. Your lawyer can advise you how to avoid this common mistake.

Especially in today’s volatile market place, it may be vital to make sure that values are accurate. Recent appraisals of real estate investments can make a significant difference in the bottom line.

Another issue in high asset divorce cases is financial wrongdoing. If your spouse is a spendthrift with unreasonable personal debt and out-of-control spending habits, documentation of those habits may improve your position in seeking a fair division of assets.

Many people are tempted to conceal assets prior to or immediately after filing for divorce. This is a big mistake that can lead to serious legal and financial consequences.

Marriages with high assets may also have high debt. The court usually divides debt equally as well. However, a court order assigning joint debts to a divorcing spouse will not prevent damage to your credit if your former spouse fails to pay. One strategy you may want to discuss with your lawyer is liquidating some of the marital assets to pay off marital debt, thus reducing this potential risk.
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