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Sherman Oaks Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

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Having a plan in place for the possibility of divorce is one of the smartest things a couple can do. Although it may seem counterproductive, prenuptial agreements are a fantastic way to safeguard your rights and provide peace of mind before saying, “I do.” By signing a prenuptial agreement, couples set their marriage up for honesty and transparency by fully disclosing their financial positions before tying the knot. Importantly, prenuptial agreements can clarify financial matters during a divorce. All too often, couples go into a new marriage without a plan in place for divorce and end up spending thousands fighting a hotly contested divorce battle that could have easily been avoided with proper planning. With the expertise of our Sherman Oaks family law lawyers, who know how to structure prenuptial agreements to meet your personalized needs and create a comprehensive plan for dividing your assets if you and your spouse divorce, you can be confident in the legal protection your prenuptial agreement provides. Contact a prenuptial agreement attorney in Sherman Oaks today by calling (818) 205-9090.

What Can I Include In My Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are powerful tools to sort out economic splits between spouses in the event of divorce. There are many different terms that couples may include in these agreements to make them as comprehensive as possible. The requirements for California Prenuptial Agreements are set forth in Family Code Sections 1610-1617.  Standard terms in prenuptial agreements include income, earnings, real estate, business interests, debts, and future income. Beyond that, prenuptial agreements can also include provisions for spousal support if necessary. Suppose a couple wishes to include spousal support obligations in their California prenuptial agreement. In that case, both spouses must retain independent legal counsel to negotiate the terms of the agreement. Independent counsel is necessary to ensure that neither spouse is taken advantage of and that there is no unequal bargaining power present in negotiations. They can declare the agreement void and meaningless if the court finds that prenuptial agreements were unfairly negotiated under duress or otherwise.

What Can’t Be Included in My Prenuptial Agreement?

When creating your prenuptial agreement, it’s essential to understand that many terms may not be included. California excludes specific terms from prenuptial agreements for various reasons, including public policy and the best interests of the couple’s children. One example of a term that may not be included in a California prenuptial agreement is clauses related to infidelity. This includes any financial penalties or other terms related to a party’s infidelity, such as surrendering spousal support rights. 

Another important category of terms not allowable in prenuptial agreements is terms relating to child custody or child support. The court must decide any issue regarding child care in the best interests of the children involved. As such, California does not allow couples to negotiate on how much child support either spouse will pay or who will be the children’s primary caregiver. These decisions must be made during the divorce process to ensure that they reflect both parents’ current situation, financial or otherwise, and the needs of each of the couple’s children at present. An experienced divorce attorney in Sherman Oaks can assist you with any of your divorce needs. 

Prenuptial agreements are financial agreements. As such, non-financial matters are generally not allowable in prenuptial agreements. Non-financial matters can include items such as the distribution of household chores, which grandparents the family will spend the holiday with, or what sports the children will be required to play. These personal aspects of the couple’s relationship fall outside the scope of a prenuptial agreement.

Finally, any terms the court deems unfair, exploitative, or deceptive will not be allowed in the prenuptial agreement. Under California law, prenuptial agreements must be voluntarily entered into without coercion or undue influence from the other spouse. Terms that unjustly benefit one party over the other or a failure to accurately disclose finances before negotiating the agreement will result in the agreement being struck down by the court. This underscores the importance of ensuring the fairness and transparency of your prenuptial agreement, as it is ultimately the court’s decision whether the agreement is enforceable.

Understanding what terms may not be included in a prenuptial agreement is as important as understanding what terms to include. Including an unenforceable term or negotiating the agreement under unfair circumstances is against the law and will waste both parties’ time and resources. It’s essential to have a skilled Sherman Oaks prenuptial attorney by your side at every step of the negotiation process to ensure the agreement is fair and enforceable.

When Will My Prenuptial Agreement Take Effect?

Prenuptial agreements fairly negotiated and signed by both parties will take effect upon marriage. Once finalized, these agreements are legally binding and have significant implications for both spouses.  Additionally, California Family Code Section 1615 (c)(2)(B) mandates what’s known as the “7-day rule.” Under this rule, couples must wait seven days between the date when the final version of the agreement is shared and when the couple signs the agreement. The rule is designed to prevent couples from making hasty decisions and ensure both spouses truly assent to the agreement’s terms before signing. This waiting period affords both spouses ample time to review the agreement independently and with the help of their independent legal counsel. Notably, the prenuptial agreement will be invalid if this rule isn’t followed. Couples worried about not meeting the requirements of this rule have a couple of options to ensure their prenuptial agreement is considered valid. One option is to postpone the wedding to ensure the requirement is satisfied. Another option is to negotiate a postnuptial agreement, which is similar to a prenuptial agreement in substance, the main difference being that it is negotiated after the wedding.

Get Assistance From a Prenuptial Lawyer in Sherman Oaks

At Diarian & Bociaga, we specialize in family law matters, including negotiating legally enforceable prenuptial agreements that withstand the test of time and scrutiny from the courts. With over a decade of experience, we know what terms to include and not to include and how to fairly negotiate a fantastic deal on your behalf. Our trusted Sherman Oaks prenuptial lawyers experts have drafted dozens of prenuptial agreements and are well-versed in providing the effective counsel you need to navigate the divorce process. If you want a prenuptial agreement drafted, enforced, or invalidated, we’re here to help. Contact us today to discuss your situation and decide on your next steps.