Prenuptial Agreements

A comprehensive prenuptial or premarital agreement can set the rules by which a couple operates during their marriage, as well as for what occurs should they ever separate and/or divorce. A prenuptial agreement can identify and protect a spouse’s separate property so that those assets do not become transformed into community property. It can protect the inheritances of children from previous relationships. It can possibly eliminate potential spousal support (but not always). It can even permit the parties to “opt out” of California’s community property system.

The time leading up to a marriage can be extremely busy and stressful. It is all too easy to put off and postpone the task of preparing a prenuptial agreement. However, if you wait too long, it will be too late. Thanks to professional baseball player Barry Bonds, the days of presenting your spouse with a prenuptial agreement on the way to the church and demanding that he or she sign the papers right then and there are over.

Today, California law imposes strict rules on the creation of prenuptial agreements. There is a minimum period of time before the wedding that you must present your fiancé with the agreement, and a minimum period of time you must give him or her to read and sign the agreement. In most cases, the law requires that each party have an independent attorney of his or her own choosing. And, there must be a full and accurate disclosure of each spouse’s separate property.

We understand the law regarding prenuptial agreements, and can explain the benefits and the limits of what these agreements can accomplish. We can draft a prenuptial agreement for you, review a proposed agreement and negotiate improvements, or evaluate an existing agreement and advise you to its strength and validity under current California law.

Contact us or call (925) 465-2500 or (707) 398-6008 for more information or to schedule an initial consultation at Sparks Family Law, Inc. with attorney Gary D. Sparks.