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Prior to or during marriage couples often consider entering into an agreement regarding the division of assets in the even of a divorce. While these sort of agreements are not likely to apply to child support or child custody, they can be useful in the division of property. If you are considering a pre or post nuptial agreement, speak with a qualified Los Angeles family law attorney at Berenji & Associates today for a free consultation.

Prenuptial Agreement

A Prenuptial Agreement, commonly known as a “prenup”, is entered into between a soon-to-be husband and wife. In contrast, a Post-Nuptial or Post-Marital Agreement is entered into by a couple after their marriage. These agreements will direct how property will be allocated between spouses either at the time of the parties’ divorce or death, absent a will or trust.

It can also set boundaries on the amount of spousal support in case of a divorce. The parties are free to enter into any agreement that deviates from the presumption that all properties obtained during the marriage are community in nature. However, parties should be forewarned that California Courts are reluctant to enforce a Prenuptial Agreement that promotes a divorce.

Parties who enter into an agreement while married, have an inherent fiduciary duty to each other. This fiduciary duty does not exist in Prenuptial Agreements since the parties are not married. However, California Courts have established certain rules to ensure full disclosures of all the assets by both parties. These rules also protect the parties from any pressure such as being forced to sign a Prenuptial Agreement immediately before the wedding.

In addition, although there is no legal requirement that each party have an attorney look over and sign a Prenuptial Agreement, it is always recommended to consult an attorney to protect your rights and to ensure that the agreement you enter into will not be set aside at the time of a divorce because of technical reasons.

If you are getting married and want to protect the assets you already have you should consider entering into a Prenuptial Agreement.  Although California law states that the assets you have before marriage is presumed to be your sole and separate property, when married, there are a lot of situations that arise which can cause you to comingle your separate assets with community assets. If this occurs during marriage then it might be very hard to determine the extent and nature of your separate property.  A Prenuptial Agreement can preserve your separate assets despite any commingling that might occur during the marriage.

Your best option may be to speak to a qualified Los Angeles family law attorney who has experience in drafting prenup agreements. The last thing you want is to find out years later that your prenup is unenforceable. The family law attorneys at Berenji & Associates have helped many clients secure a prenup agreement. If you are seeking a prenup agreement in Los Angeles, call us for a free consultation.

Post-Nuptial/Marital Agreements

Spouses will sometimes want to enter into an agreement after the marriage, even if they do not anticipate a divorce in their future. This type of agreement is called a Post-Nuptial or Post-Marital Agreement. By entering this agreement, the parties can agree to separate their assets and debts as they see fit and avoid the effects the law would have on such division.

Unlike the Premarital Agreements, the parties owe fiduciary duties to each other and must ensure that they fully disclose all of their assets and business dealings.  These agreements come in handy when a husband and wife have financial disputes or when the parties want to avoid the complications of dividing their assets at time of divorce.

If you are considering either a pre or post nup agreement, call Berenji & Associates today. Our Los Angeles divorce attorneys can assist you during this process.