San Diego Postnuptial Agreement Attorneys
Couples enter into marriage expecting it to last for the rest of their lives. Soon-to-be newlyweds don’t want to dampen their enthusiasm by preparing for worst-case scenarios like divorce. Unfortunately, statistics show that approximately half of all couples who marry will end up divorced. Planning for a worst-case scenario is not only smart, it might actually help prevent some of the turmoil and uncertainty that cause a marriage to break down.
Signing a postnuptial agreement can help protect couples and strengthen their marriage. And in the event that things don’t work out, both spouses may avoid an expensive and traumatic divorce process. For a free consultation about how a postnuptial agreement can protect you, please call a San Diego family law attorney at Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., at (858) 458-9500.
In California, a postnuptial agreement is defined as a written agreement that is executed after a couple is married or has entered into a civil union. The agreement provides provisions for what happens to a couple's assets in a separation or divorce. "Postnups" are similar in content and structure to prenuptial agreements. They can include stipulations for the division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce, the death of one of the spouses, or a serious change in circumstances.
If you want the postnup to be enforceable during a divorce proceeding, it’s very important that you get it right and follow all relevant California laws. Any California postnuptial agreement must be in written form. Oral agreements will not have any impact when it comes time to divide assets. It must also be signed by both spouses and be notarized to that effect. You must also be able to show that the agreement was voluntarily reached by both spouses. If it can be shown that one spouse was threatened, deceived, coerced, or physically forced to sign the contract, then it will be nullified. Additionally, if one spouse did not fully disclose all of his or her assets, this can constitute fraud and the agreement will be voided. Finally, California law also states that the agreement must be fair. The court can throw out a postnuptial agreement if it is deemed to be too one-sided.
A postnuptial agreement can serve many of the same purposes as a prenuptial agreement. For instance, couples often use postnups to determine who gets to keep certain property in the event of a divorce. They are also used to make provisions for alimony; who is responsible for marital debt such as mortgages, loans, or credit card bills; and who gets to continue living in the primary residence.
Often, a postnup becomes necessary because the spouses were unwilling or hesitant to sign a prenup. In other cases, the circumstances of the marriage have substantially changed, making it desirable to have provisions that protect both partners just in case. For instance, one spouse has launched a business venture. It might be successful at the moment, but it could turn into a liability. A postnup can protect both spouses, regardless of whether the business succeeds or fails.
Whatever your unique circumstances, it’s important to work out all the details of your postnuptial agreement very carefully to ensure that it is both fair and enforceable. The legal team at Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., has over four decades of family law experience. We work closely with our clients to understand exactly what they need and make sure that they and their families are protected.
The truth is that sometimes couples get married too quickly, or do not wish to think about financial matters prior to marriage. Many couples choose to sign a contract post-marriage once they realize they have concerns regarding property or business ventures. Postnuptial agreements are a valid option to protect both spouses and can help to ensure a stronger marriage bond. To schedule a free consultation with a San Diego family law attorney, contact us today at (858) 458-9500.