According to a 2016 report by the CDC/NCHS National Vital Statistics System, approximately 46 percent of first marriages in the United States end in divorce or annulment. Of these, only about 5% have a marital agreement in place to help resolve disputes during divorce proceedings.
Marital agreements help define expectations, protect children and assets, and help both spouses achieve financial security and peace of mind when navigating the divorce process. When a couple is entering into a marriage or has already been married, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can benefit and protect both parties in the event that the marriage does not last.
If you are considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your fiancé or spouse, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable California family law attorney as soon as possible for detailed guidance. Attorney Karen S. Brown is dedicated to offering experienced legal counsel and comprehensive guidance in matters related to all types of marital agreements.
Whether you are considering drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, attorney Karen S. Brown can offer you the detailed guidance and advocacy you need to navigate critical decisions. She will work diligently with all parties involved to address all needs and concerns and work to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone involved. The Law Office of Karen S. Brown is also proud to serve clients across Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills, Orange County, Ventura County, and Long Beach, California.
When engaged couples decide to get married, they often agree to share their assets, real estate property, finances, and liabilities. However, when things do not work out as planned, such assets, including the marital home, bank accounts, debts, and liabilities, will be subject to equitable division during a divorce or legal separation. A marital agreement is a contract that defines how a couple's assets will be divided in the event of a divorce or death of one spouse.
What's more, the engaged couples may enter into the marital agreement before marriage ( known as a prenuptial agreement) or after marriage (known as a postnuptial agreement). These agreements ensure that both parties are able to set parameters for the division of any assets in the event of a divorce or legal separation.
A prenuptial agreement (often referred to as a “prenup”) can be described as a marital agreement entered into by a couple before getting married. Prenups are considered important, especially when one of the two spouses has significantly more money or assets, or if either of the two parties is set to inherit a large estate from a family trust. A prenuptial agreement can:
Provide detailed instructions regarding asset division upon divorce
Make provisions for any children from a previous marriage or relationship
Protect against debts or liabilities incurred by the other spouse
Make protections for estate plans
Make provisions to ensure that family property stays within the family
Describe the responsibilities of each spouse
Describe how finances, household bills, and expenses will be managed
A postnuptial agreement (often referred to as a “postnup”) can be described as a marital agreement that is entered into by a couple after they have gotten married. A lot of couples may decide to enter into a postnup agreement to protect a family business, protect against the other spouse's debts or liabilities, or to clarify the financial responsibilities of each spouse during the marriage. A postnuptial agreement can:
Make provisions regarding the division of marital property after divorce
Make provisions with regards to the division of debts or liabilities
Define parameters for spousal maintenance or alimony
Determine what happens to their assets, real estate property, and other belongings upon the death of a spouse
A marriage dissolution or the death of a spouse is often accompanied by a serious emotional toll and other financial consequences. Marital agreements are designed to help simplify the process of asset division and settle other financial arrangements. However, it is important to note that:
A marital agreement isn't "only for people who think they're going to divorce."
A marital agreement isn't "only for the rich and wealthy."
A marital agreement isn't harmful or unfair to the less wealthy spouse.
Instead, marital agreements can:
Help define expectations and draw clear boundaries in a marriage
Protect you against or prepare you for life's unexpected events
Enable you and your fiancé or spouse to have an honest, open conversation about what's important to each person during a marriage
When drafting a marital agreement, it is often advisable to retain two lawyers, one attorney representing each party. This is because the California court may consider the prenup or postnup invalid if the agreement seems unfair to either spouse without legal representation. An experienced family law attorney can help simplify the process, help you meet all procedural requirements, and most importantly, ensure that the marital agreement is enforceable.
Preparing for an uncertain future is an important step when considering marriage. In the event of a divorce or legal separation, a marital agreement can help provide financial security, establish property rights, protect accumulated assets, protect against liabilities, and cater to the needs of your children and future. However, the California courts can easily declare the agreement invalid without proper legal representation. Therefore, retaining an experienced family law attorney is a necessity when drafting a prenup or postnup agreement, as this will ensure you are receiving trustworthy legal guidance and advocacy.
Attorney Karen S. Brown has devoted her career to helping clients draft important marital documents and agreements. As your legal counsel, she will review the unique details of your situation, discuss all benefits and risks, help you understand your legal options, and guide you through any and all key decisions from start to finish.
Using her extensive experience, attorney Karen S. Brown will make sure that your marital agreement is valid and fair to both parties, meets all procedural requirements, and does not violate provisions involving non-monetary matters or public policy. As an experienced California prenuptial agreement attorney, she can determine the best possible way to protect your accumulated property, children, finances, and future. Reach out today to find out how she can help you with your case.
If you need assistance or guidance drawing up a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation. Attorney Karen S. Brown can help you understand the benefits and risks, and offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy you need. She is proud to serve individuals and families across Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills, Orange County, Ventura County, and Long Beach, California.