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California Post-Nuptial Agreements

You’ve Heard of the Prenup…
Most are familiar with the prenuptial agreement, more popularly known as a “prenup” – a contract between two people who plan to marry. A prenup will normally deal with the economic issues, such as property division, that may arise if the marriage breaks apart. As our experienced Santa Rosa divorce attorneys know, however, there is generally no legal prohibition to anything else that either spouse would want to include in the document. Therefore, a prenup ensures certain legal rights and protections prior to entering into the marriage. couple_walking.jpg

Although there is the legal option of establishing a prenup, many couples do not draft a prenup. After all, one likely wouldn’t even be contemplating marriage if they did not have a strong belief that their marriage would succeed. However, in the event that such optimistic couples come to endure hardship during their marriage, there are legal options to help in saving the marriage and clarifying legal issues after marriage but before divorce.

There is also a “Postnuptial Agreement
According to a study released in 2007 by The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there has been an increase in the use of postnuptial agreements by troubled married couples. A postnuptial agreement, known as a “postnup,” is formed during the marriage. A married couple often enters into a postnup in order to resolve certain issues in an effort to avoid divorce.

For example, married couples often have financial issues that threaten the longevity of their marriage. In such cases when husband and wife cannot work out issues on their own, they have the option of seeking legal counsel to help establish an agreement that would resolve the issues that threaten their marriage.

The study by The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers revealed that nearly half of the lawyers polled reported an influx of clients requesting the drafting of postnuptial agreements. Since 2007, when the study was released, there has been a steady increase in the number of couples establishing postnuptial agreements.

Our Santa Rosa family law attorney understands that a couple may decide to draft a postnuptial agreement for various reasons, not just for financial issues. There have been cases where a wife demanded a postnup after her husband had been charged with his third DUI and where a father demanded that his daughter draft a postnup with her husband or else forfeit legal rights in his will. Therefore, as past postnup cases illustrate, these agreements can be drafted for almost any issue that a couple may have in their marriage.

Whatever the reason may be, the objective of postnuptial agreements is to protect the legal rights of both husband and wife during the marriage as well as after the marriage should the couple decide to separate. Our Santa Rosa family law attorneys appreciate that such matters involve complex legal and personal issues, and a case-by-case approach is always necessary. Consider taking a moment to get in touch with the legal professionals at our firm to see how we can help resolve various family law matters, including drafting postnuptial agreements.

See Related Blog Posts:

California Property Division and Divorce

Uncovering Marital Assets in a Divorce

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