A prenuptial agreement is a written legal contract that protects both spouses when a marriage ends, whether through a divorce or the death of one of the spouses. Each spouse discloses assets, debts, and property before marriage, and the rights and responsibilities each spouse has during the marriage itself. Both spouses must agree to the contents of the prenuptial agreement, and it must be signed by both spouses before marriage.
As you can imagine, drafting a prenup is much easier said than done. This is why numerous couples in the Los Angeles, CA area contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown. We can assist with the creation of a prenuptial agreement, and we can also review the contents with an eye for fairness and transparent language.
A prenuptial agreement may include any of the following:
The distinction between separate property and marital property
Protection from taking on a spouse’s debts
Protections for family businesses and valuable assets
Provisions on caring for children from a previous marriage
Instructions on how property should be divided in the event of a divorce
Estate plans in the event of a spouse’s death
While a prenuptial can outline many matters, it cannot include the following:
Decisions on child support and child custody
Any sort of alimony waiver
Any items that would encourage a divorce
Matters of a personal nature rather than financial nature
Anything pertaining to illegal actions
A prenuptial agreement can protect you and your spouse from major disputes in the event of a divorce. Similarly, a prenup can help clarify estate issues following the death of a spouse. By detailing property and how financial issues are carried out when a marriage ends, the married couple avoids a prolonged back-and-forth legal battle. Instead, since both spouses agreed to the prenup, that becomes the guiding force when a marriage ends.
Even marriages that end amicably and the spouses remain friends can benefit from prenuptial agreements. It’s why our Los Angeles family law office offers to draft and/or review prenups for couples.
An attorney skilled in family and matrimonial law will be familiar with the proper format and contents of a prenuptial agreement. They can make sure the language is clear and unambiguous regarding the instructions and provisions stated. A lawyer can also determine other matters to include in the prenup during the review process.
Most importantly, a matrimonial lawyer will be able to explain what would be in your best interests when crafting a prenup.
It’s often a good idea for each spouse to have their own attorney review a prenuptial agreement. Even though there may be two lawyers drafting and reviewing the prenup, it doesn’t need to be a combative document or process. Having each side properly represented keeps the process fair, and ensures that each spouse is fully aware of the contents of the prenup and what they are agreeing to.
If you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to learn more about drafting and reviewing prenuptial agreements, be sure to contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown. You can reach us by phone at (323) 766-6426.