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