Premarital And Postmarital Agreements Q&A

Under the laws of California, all property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be part of the marital estate and is to be equally divided at the time of divorce or legal separation. Two people may enter into a contract before or during marriage altering the rights that each party will have to the property that they bring into the marriage or acquire during the marriage. They may also agree on the amount of spousal support owed to the other and their respective inheritance rights in the event of divorce.

Here are answers to a couple of common questions about premarital and postmarital agreements. To discuss how such an agreement could benefit you, please contact Viola Law Firm in San Mateo at 650-532-9389 to schedule a meeting with a lawyer.

What is a prenup?
A prenup (or premarital agreement) is a legal contract changing or clarifying the parties' rights and responsibilities during their marriage and in the event that the marriage ends in separation, divorce or death. Drafting a proper premarital agreement requires a specialized understanding of the complex laws of California. To ensure that a premarital agreement will be upheld, it should be prepared and finalized well in advance of the wedding.

Do both parties to a premarital agreement need a lawyer?
Some premarital agreements are valid only if each party has his or her own independent attorney. In other cases, participation of attorneys in negotiating a pre-marital agreement is not required, but it is always a good idea. If both parties have independent attorneys, the agreement is more likely to reflect the parties' intentions and be upheld by the court. Attorneys can assure that the agreement is prepared correctly and can explain how the agreement changes the parties' rights and responsibilities. As set forth above, drafting a valid premarital agreement requires a specialized understanding of the complex laws of California.