Do I Need a Postnuptial Agreement? What a Postnuptial Agreement Can and Cannot Do
A postnuptial agreement is a contract made after marriage regarding assets. It differs from a prenuptial agreement that is made before marriage. Postnuptial agreements can aid in the divorce process, should the marriage not survive. It is not a predictor of divorce but rather a safeguard of agreed-upon terms that can prevent a contentious division of assets later. A California divorce attorney can help represent you by helping to draft such an agreement.
What a Postnuptial Agreement Can Do
A postnuptial agreement established an agreed-upon division of community property in the event of a divorce. Without such an agreement in place, dividing property accumulated throughout the marriage is both time-consuming and expensive. If you did not enter into the marriage with a prenuptial agreement, you can develop one during the marriage.
There are a variety of reasons why a postnuptial agreement is helpful for couples, including:
- Each person has their own accumulated wealth to protect in the event of a divorce.
- As a couple, you built and expanded a thriving business.
- It can serve as a financial record of combined assets and how a division of those assets would occur.
These are just a few examples of how a postnuptial agreement can serve as a roadmap for a legal separation or divorce. The avoidance of a lengthy legal process is what makes a postnuptial agreement so appealing to couples.
A postnuptial agreement —when done correctly —protects both spouses from receiving less than they deserve. In fact, it is doubtful that a court will approve a postnuptial agreement if it is deemed highly unfair to one spouse.
California law generally requires a one-half division of property among married couples. While a postnuptial agreement can protect you financially, it must meet the following criteria:
- It is a written contract.
- It must contain signatures from you and your spouse.
- A spouse must not be forced to sign such an agreement, or it becomes unenforceable.
- It is notarized.
- The terms are fair and equal.
- Each spouse must fully disclose their financial information, such as debts, income, and property.
The Pedrick Law Group is knowledgeable about postnuptial agreements and state law requirements. Let us help you through the process by representing your best interests regarding the division of property.
What a Postnuptial Agreement Cannot Do
A postnuptial agreement typically involves two key components:
- The division of community property.
- Issues involving spousal support/alimony.
A postnuptial agreement cannot include any legal matters involving child custody and/or child support. Divorces that include children must go before the court either for resolution or for approval of a custody and support agreement.
The divorce process is stressful for everyone involved. Major life changes can occur, and while a postnuptial agreement is helpful, it is not a fast-track to divorce —especially if there are children involved.
Attorney Gregory J. Pedrick is a certified Family Law Specialist. His knowledge and understanding of California law as it applies to all forms of divorce can assist you during this challenging time.
Each divorce case is unique due to the specific details that led to the demise of the marriage. At the Pedrick Law Group, we take a hard look at each case to identify the key elements needed for a postnuptial agreement. We also work with our clients to discover the best path for any children involved.
Deciding If A Postnuptial Agreement is Right For You
A postnuptial agreement is something to consider if you brought certain property into the marriage, or it is not the first marriage. An agreement can protect the assets you own that you want your children from a previous marriage to have.
The ultimate decision about whether a postnuptial agreement is right for you is where a lawyer can help you. The Pedrick Law Group assists clients with the legal aspects of such an important contract.
Postnuptial Agreements are Proactive Documents
A prenuptial agreement is a proactive document; however, the same is true for a postnuptial one. By taking a stand to document an agreed-upon division of community property is proactive in the event of divorce.
As a marriage evolves, learning and growing your life with your spouse is inevitable. When the partnership does not last, a postnuptial agreement is a useful tool for resolving the divorce in a timely and cost-effective way.
Each spouse should retain their own counsel to prevent a conflict of interest. If you find yourself concerned about your financial future and your marriage, contact the Pedrick Law Group now for a free case evaluation. We can determine if a postnuptial agreement is in your best interests due to your financial situation.
The Pedrick Law Group and Postnuptial Agreements
While it is impossible to predict the future, it is possible to protect it and everything built throughout the marriage. At the Pedrick Law Group, we understand how to develop postnuptial agreements that are agreeable and that follow legal requirements.
A postnuptial agreement can prevent a divorce process that never seems to end. By having certain terms agreed upon regarding your community partner, both you and your spouse can move on sooner rather than later.
If you need assistance with a postnuptial agreement, the Pedrick Law Group can help you. Simply gather your information and let us get to work representing you today.
No one knows what the future holds, and life can change suddenly. Preparing for the twists and turns with a postnuptial agreement is a vital way to protect your financial future. If your marriage does not fail, a postnuptial agreement can serve as a strong foundation or support system for how you handle your finances.
The Pedrick Law Group serves Encino and Orange County, California. We offer a free case evaluation with a member of our team. To learn more about how we can help with a postnuptial agreement, contact us today. Our family law knowledge can also assist you with issues involving child custody and support.