Solana Beach Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

Marriage is a time of celebration. While most people do not get into marriage thinking about what will happen if a divorce occurs, it is becoming much more common for couples to enter into prenuptial agreements. These agreements can provide valuable guidance during the divorce process concerning issues such as property division, future alimony agreements, and more. At Ratzer|Dobis, our Solana Beach prenuptial agreement lawyers are dedicated to helping clients achieve the results they desire in these cases.

Why Choose Ratzer|Dobis?

If you are considering getting married and have questions about prenuptial agreements, seek assistance from a Solana Beach family law attorney with a thorough understanding of these matters. At Ratzer|Dobis:

  • We know that keeping costs down is important for you, which is why we work to keep your legal expenses low by working efficiently to meet your needs.
  • We focus exclusively on family law matters, and we understand how prenuptial agreements affect marriages.
  • Our goal is to ensure that your prenuptial agreement, and all family law issues you are facing, are in your best interests moving forward.

How Will an Attorney Help With These Agreements?

Whether you are just beginning to formulate a prenuptial agreement or are seeking to understand how your existing prenuptial agreement will affect a divorce, an attorney is going to be necessary for these cases. Your attorney will:

  • Be well versed in the language of prenuptial agreements and how to correctly draft the documents necessary.
  • Examine the needs of you and your partner and thoroughly explain all aspects of a prenuptial agreement so that you know how you will be affected if a divorce takes place.
  • Work to help ensure that the prenuptial agreement is enforced as written in the event of a divorce.

A lawyer’s assistance can answer your questions and ensure the legality of your prenuptial agreement. Your attorney can handle the legwork of drawing up the agreement on your behalf. Hiring a lawyer to do the paperwork can decrease the chances of the courts voiding it during a dispute later.

What Are Prenuptial Agreements?

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy. They are helpful for any couple who wishes to properly plan ahead and have security throughout their marriage. Prenuptial agreements cover various aspects of what will happen during the course of a marriage and in the event of a divorce. This includes:

  • Outlining what is considered “separate” property obtained prior to a marriage
  • How assets obtained during the course of a marriage will be classified
  • The division of any marital property in the event of a divorce
  • Matters involving debt or creditors during a marriage and in the event of a divorce
  • Benefits, inheritances, and trusts that children from any prior marriage may claim
  • Spousal maintenance (alimony) arrangements

Prenuptial agreements are highly customizable documents designed to fit the specific needs of each couple. However, child support payments are governed by the state of California and cannot be determined by a prenuptial agreement. Our Solana Beach prenuptial agreement attorneys are ready to get to work for you.

What Is the Difference Between Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?

A prenuptial agreement occurs before the marriage. A postnuptial agreement happens after the marriage. Prenuptial agreements are more common than postnuptial. Both can protect the parties involved in the event of a divorce in California. Both types of legal documents work the same way to determine things such as property division and alimony after the couple divorces.

In most cases, a prenuptial agreement handles matters such as the division of preexisting property, debts and inheritance. Postnuptial agreements often deal with child support and financial protection. You cannot sign a prenuptial agreement after the wedding. After you marry, the only option for creating a legal contract between you and your spouse is a postnuptial agreement. A lawyer can help with both types of agreements in California.

What Is Community Property in a Marriage?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements involve California’s community property laws. As a community property state, California’s courts will divide property during a divorce down the middle. The courts will carry out a 50/50 split regardless of any fault for causing the divorce. There are nine community property states, California included. All other states use equitable division laws: the courts will divide property based on what is fair according to the couple’s unique circumstances. This does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split.

The courts will only divide community property in California. They will not touch separate property. Community property refers to all assets, debts, properties, furniture, funds and investments the couple acquired after marriage. Separate property is all assets and debts brought by one spouse or the other into the marriage. Property the couple receives together after marriage will become community property. A gift or inheritance one spouse receives, however, will remain separate property. Property purchased with a spouse’s separate funds will also become separate property. If an asset or debt is both types of property, it has been commingled. Commingled property can be difficult to sort out after a divorce, especially without a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can change the result of property division in a California divorce case. Without a prenuptial agreement, the state’s community property law means you and your spouse will split community property evenly in half. It will not matter who caused the split or who acquired most of the property during your marriage. The terms of a valid prenuptial agreement will overrule the state’s community property laws. You can also use a prenuptial agreement to decide which of your assets qualify as community versus separate property. What you decide in your agreement can nullify California’s community property laws.

How to Create a Valid Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement might be right for you and your partner if you have high-value assets, a jointly-owned business, children to pass assets to, debts coming into the marriage or if you want to clarify financial matters. If you wish to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact an attorney for assistance with the legal process. It can be difficult to create a valid agreement on your own, without a lawyer’s help.

For a valid agreement, you and your spouse must agree on the terms of the post or prenuptial contract. The agreement must be fair, reasonable and accurate in its details. Both spouses involved in the contract have the right to independent legal advice. You must both sign the contract voluntarily for the courts to uphold it. A verbal contract will not be valid as a prenuptial agreement in the State of California. The prenup must be a written contract that abides by the law. It also needs a signature from a notary.

Let Us Get to Work Today

If you are considering getting married, you should also consider whether a prenuptial agreement is right for you and your spouse. Despite what you may have heard about a prenuptial agreement, these documents can provide valuable protection and peace of mind for both parties. At Ratzer|Dobis, our Solana Beach prenuptial agreement attorneys are ready to discuss this with you today. We are also ready to help if you are considering going through a divorce and want to know if your prenuptial agreement provides the protection you expect. You can contact us for a consultation by calling (858) 793-7700.


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