Prenuptial Agreements in Los Angeles
Prenuptial agreements are legal contracts entered into by a couple prior to marriage. The purpose of the agreement is to set forth specific provisions regarding the characterization of property and debts and payment of spousal support in the event of a divorce or legal separation. Without the prenuptial agreement, California statutory and case law prevails.
As an example, under California law, income earned during the marriage is community property. Any income put into an account, even an account in the earning party’s name alone, will be divided evenly between the parties. However, if the parties want income, and/or income placed in separate accounts to be his/her separate property, that desire may be included in a prenuptial agreement and will trump California law.
Should I Get A Prenuptial Agreement?
Couples choose to get a prenuptial agreement for a variety of reasons, though the most common scenarios are as follows:
- One or both of the parties enters into the marriage with significant assets
- A party is expected to receive a large inheritance during the marriage
- One or both of the parties have children from a prior relationship.
- A party has significant debt coming into the marriage
- There is a great disparity in earnings (or earning potential) or assets between the parties
- One of the party’s has a much greater earning potential than the other.
- One or both of the parties own their own business, or are a partner in a business.
Challenges to prenuptial agreements are common in divorce cases. Our team of attorneys has significant experience in drafting and reviewing prenuptial agreements in order to protect your interests and goals and avoid challenges down the road.
What if I am Getting Divorced and Have a Prenuptial Agreement?
When parties to a divorce previously signed a prenuptial agreement, the divorce process is often more straight-forward because the terms regarding division of assets and debts and spousal support have already been established. However, there are some cases where the validity of certain provisions or the premarital agreement as a whole are in question and could potentially be unenforceable. Our experienced Los Angeles attorneys are prepared to assist you in reviewing the terms of your prenuptial agreement and enforcing or challenging that agreement (when necessary) in finalizing your divorce.