Pre and Post-Marital Agreements

Pre-Marital Agreements

So you've decided to tie-the-knot. Congratulations! While things like picking out "the dress," sending out invitations, and choosing the perfect venue will occupy most of your time in the months leading up to your wedding, there is one important step that is often overlooked, but, in many situations, should be taken care of before you say "I do." A pre-nuptial agreement (also known as a "pre-marital" agreement) can save time, expense and stress in the future.

A pre-nuptial agreement is not for everyone, and is often something couples hesitate to discuss. However, the sad, but true, fact is that half of all marriages end in divorce. And it is also true that, because of the delicate issues to be considered (like property rights, inheritance, support), we call discussions concerning pre-nuptial agreements the "Divorce Before The Marriage." They should be handled with care.

However, knowing your partners financial situation beforehand and agreeing on how assets will be divided if divorce occurs, can actually be a relief for many couples.

Many people who marry, especially in California, which is a community property state, don't understand how the law divides property upon divorce.

For Example: Many people believe that if they have a separate bank account, in their name alone, and into which they deposit their salary, that upon divorce, all the funds in that account are their separate property. This is not true
in California.

Assuming that the couple did not have a pre-nuptial agreement that states otherwise, funds in the account that are from salaries earned during marriage are presumed to be community property and will be split 50/50 upon divorce.

Other issues, such as spousal support, if any, can be spelled out in a pre-nuptial agreement.

Hopefully, a pre-nuptial agreement is a document you will never use. But, for many, knowing how property will be divided and planning ahead of time brings peace of mind.

An attorney at The Law Office of John T. Anderson can meet with you and discuss your situation and any concerns you have.

But don't wait too long, there are many requirements that must be met in order for a pre-nuptial agreement to be valid. For example, California statutes require that there be at least seven days between the time when a spouse is presented with the pre-nuptial agreement and when the agreement is signed. This means that waiting until the day before your wedding to consider a pre-nuptial agreement is not an option.

Post-Marital Agreements

A post-nuptial agreement (also known as a "post-marital" agreement) is an agreement between spouses which in entered into after the marriage.

We discourage waiting and doing a post-nuptial agreement rather than the pre-marriage, pre-nuptial agreement because there is no turning back if your spouse refuses to sign after the marriage.

Post-Nuptial agreements are much different from pre-nuptial agreements because, unlike pre-nuptial agreements which are entered into before the spouses are married, post-nuptial agreements are entered into after marriage and therefore, the spouses have, by law, a greater fiduciary duty to one another in the negotiations and disclosure
of assets.

As a result of this fiduciary duty, all agreements must be supported by consideration. This means more responsibility to each other; and, not taking advantage of one another; reveal all.

Call The Law Office of John T. Anderson today to schedule an appointment to meet with an attorney to discuss
your situation.

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The Law Office of John T. Anderson
1741 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, California 90807