What Should a Prenuptial Agreement Include?

By Law Office of Karen S. Brown

A prenuptial agreement is a vital tool for engaged couples planning to get married. Establishing a prenuptial agreement can help protect premarital assets, define each party’s responsibilities and expectations, and help prepare for an unexpected relationship breakdown. A seasoned California family law attorney can enlighten you about what a prenuptial agreement should include and who needs one. The Law Office of Karen S. Brown is dedicated to offering knowledgeable and experienced legal guidance to individuals and couples in marital agreement-related matters. Karen S. Brown is available to discuss your unique situation, guide you through the process of drafting or modifying your premarital agreement, and ensure that it is legal and valid. The firm proudly serves clients across Los Angeles County, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Ventura County, and Orange County, California.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement – also referred to as a prenup or premarital agreement – can be described as a written contract entered into by engaged couples prior to their marriage. The prenup sets forth what happens to the couple’s assets and finances in the event of a marriage breakdown or the death of one spouse.

What Should Be Included?

A premarital agreement can help protect accumulated assets, provide financial security, protect each spouse against the other party’s debts and liabilities, and clarify the expectations, duties, and responsibilities of each spouse. Hence, a comprehensive prenuptial agreement should include the following:

  • Spouse information

  • Premarital assets and property

  • Premarital debts and liabilities

  • Retirement accounts

  • Financial responsibilities

  • Provisions for children from previous relationships

  • Business earnings

  • Marital responsibilities

  • Inheritance rights

  • Family property or businesses

  • Provisions for property division in divorce

  • Confidentiality agreements

An experienced California prenuptial agreement attorney can guide you through the legal process of creating your prenup and ensure that all necessary details and provisions are covered.

What Do Prenups Not Cover?

A premarital agreement doesn’t cover the following:

  • Details about personal matters

  • Child custody or visitation matters

  • Relinquishing spousal maintenance (alimony) rights

  • Child support matters

  • Clauses involving non-financial requirements

  • Provisions about anything that is unlawful, prohibited, or against public policy

A skilled lawyer can offer you the proper guidance you need to draft your prenuptial agreement and help you navigate key decisions.

Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Modified?

Yes, a premarital agreement can be modified if the spouses agree. To modify or “re-up a prenup,” you can:

  • Make adjustments to the original premarital agreement, or

  • Sign a separate agreement with new terms and provisions in the prenuptial agreement.

Your lawyer will help draw up an addendum to the original prenup. Both you and your partner must witness and sign the new prenuptial agreement. Thus, the new terms and provisions will become a part of the premarital contract once it is executed.

Making Sure It’s Enforceable

For a prenuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable in California, it must meet the following conditions:

  • It must be signed by both parties before entering the marriage.

  • Each party must have complete and detailed information about the other’s assets, income, and debts.

  • Each party must be represented by separate attorneys when signing the prenup.

  • Each party must be given at least one week to seek independent legal counsel before signing.

  • It must not contain any unjust, unfair, deceptive, or exploitative terms.

  • A notary must sign the prenuptial agreement to make it fully valid.

A reliable legal counsel can help review or draft the necessary documentation and make sure that the premarital agreement is legal, valid, and enforceable.

Legal Guidance You Can Trust

Before entering a marriage, it is important that you protect your premarital assets and prepare for future uncertainties. In the event of a legal separation, divorce, or the death of one spouse, a prenup can help establish property rights and cater to your children and financial future. An experienced family law attorney can enlighten you about your options and help you make informed decisions. Karen S. Brown has devoted her career to guiding clients through the complex processes involved in prenuptial agreements. Whether you are trying to draft or re-up a prenup, Karen can guide you through the legal procedures involved from start to finish. She will work diligently to address your needs and concerns and make sure your prenuptial agreement provides all the needed protections. Contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown today to schedule a simple consultation with a trusted prenuptial agreements lawyer. Karen S. Brown can offer you the personalized legal guidance and dedicated advocacy you need to navigate intelligent decisions. The firm is proud to serve clients across Los Angele s County, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Ventura County, and Orange County, California.