Premarital and Post-Marital Agreements
Menlo Park Family Law Attorneys
Establishing a premarital agreement is a practical way to protect your
personal assets before marriage. Typically, premarital agreements include
a list of the property owned by each party entering into marriage; personal
debts are often included in these agreements as well. The terms of the
agreement define what each person’s property rights will be if the
marriage ever dissolves, as well as how income, expenses, assets and debts
will be handled during the marriage. Many couples don’t realize
that the Family Code operates as a default premarital agreement in California.
In lieu of the default, our attorneys can draft an agreement suited to
the client’s specific needs.
Why Draft a Premarital Agreement?
Premarital agreements become effective upon marriage and can include agreements
on any of the following:
- The rights and obligations of each party in relation to property that is
bought, sold, leased, transferred, used, exchanged, abandoned, or otherwise
managed / controlled
- What will happen to property upon separation, divorce, death, or another event
- The creation of a will or trust (or other arrangement) to carry out the
terms of the agreement
- Matters concerning personal rights and obligations, so long as they do
not violate public policy or a statue imposing a criminal penalty
- Provisions for spousal support, including limitations or a complete waiver
of spousal support
- How Community Property will be created either upon marriage (from separate
assets brought into the marriage) or during marriage
- How income will be treated and expenses shared
It should also be noted that a premarital agreement cannot adversely affect
a child’s right to support upon dissolution of the marriage.
Amending or Revoking a Premarital Agreement
Premarital agreements can be amended or revoked after marriage by written
agreement signed by both parties provided that very specific fiduciary
duties, including financial disclosures are complied with. At Flicker,
Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP, our Menlo Park divorce lawyers help clients
create, enforce, amend, and revoke premarital agreements as needed.
We are committed to providing resolution-based legal service that empathetically
addresses the needs of our clients. Backed by more than 40 years of practice
and office locations in Menlo Park and San Ramon, we are equipped to handle
family law cases of every nature, including those involving premarital
Establishing Strategic Post-Marital Agreements
For individuals who did not establish a premarital agreement before marrying,
it is not too late to seek legal protection in the event of a divorce.
Post-marital agreements are an effective way of protecting assets and
other interests. This type of agreement can provide individuals with peace
of mind regarding their rights and interests during marriage. At Flicker,
Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP, we assist individuals with creating post-marital
agreements that are both effective and strategic, and provide guidance
on compliance with fiduciary duties that exist after marriage.
Why Establish a Post-Marital Agreement?
Many couples avoid creating a post-marital agreement because they believe
it sets up a marriage for failure. However, this realistic and proactive
approach to marriage can help avoid potential conflict in the future.
In the event a marriage ends in divorce, a post-marital agreement can
allow both parties to go their separate ways and avoid lengthy and contested
divorce disputes. It can also help both parties understand their roles,
expectations, and contributions to the marriage. This understanding can
lay the groundwork for a harmonious partnership. By law, post-marital
agreements cannot be “promotive” of divorce.
A post-marital agreement can help couples settle the following kinds of issues:
- Income/expense sharing
- Asset division
- Debt division
- Spousal support
- Transmutation of separate property assets to community property, or vice versa
The Importance of Legal Representation During the Process
Having skilled legal representation when creating a post-marital agreement
is recommended in order to ensure no detail is left unaddressed and legal
obligations are complied with. One of our Menlo Park family lawyers can
help draft the document and review any related issues or concerns.
The agreement must be clear and comprehensive to avoid misinterpretation
or potential loopholes. At Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP, we
help clients with post-marital agreements at our office locations in Menlo
Park and San Ramon, CA.