Many people get married in California every year. After marriage people begin their life together as a couple and share that life. However, prior to the marriage people have their single lives and may bring a substantial number of assets to the marriage. In order to obtain these assets people may have worked very hard. After a marriage though everything either spouse earns becomes marital property regardless of who earns the money and obtain the assets.
This means that if a couple divorces, they will need to split the assets that were obtained during their marriage. However, there is a way that people can ensure some individual and non-marital property stays separate. People can draft and sign a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage. These agreements allow the couple to state property that will remain separate in the case of a divorce. They can also state agreements pertaining to spousal support as well.
In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid though and accomplish the goal of keeping certain property separate, they must meet certain requirements though. First is that it must be in writing and signed by both parties. Both spouses need to provide a complete financial disclosure of their assets prior to signing it. Each spouse must have a least seven (7) days to review the agreement prior to signing it. Also, both parties need their own attorneys or be given detailed information about prenuptial agreements and sign an affidavit acknowledging that they read the information and understand what they are signing.
There are many reasons that people in California may decide to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to a marriage. However, no matter what the reason for signing it, they must be drafted correctly in order to be valid. If the it is deemed invalid during a divorce, people could lose the assets they intended to protect. Experienced attorneys understand the requirements of prenuptial agreements and may be able to guide one through the process.