Santa Barbara Lawyer Assists with Your Marital Agreement
Do you need help preparing a premarital contract?
To ensure your assets are protected through marriage, I am careful in constructing a marital contract that holds up in court. At McCleary (Mac) H. Sanborn, III, Attorney at Law I work with you to create an agreement that is fair and binding and to ensure you thoroughly understand its terms. My office handles two kinds of marital agreements:
- Prenuptial or premarital agreement — This is a written contract created by a couple before they wed that takes effect after their marriage. In California, this contract is known as a premarital agreement
- Postnuptial or postmarital agreement — A written contract created by a couple after they are married, a postnuptial or postmarital agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement and can also alter an existing prenuptial agreement
What do prenuptial agreements cover?
Prenuptial or premarital agreements are not just for the wealthy or those with extensive assets. While premarital agreements can provide a plan for property and asset division in the event of divorce, premarital contracts in California cover a range of other issues relevant to every couple, including:
There are strict rules about what cannot be in a premarital agreement in California. A trusted attorney ensures that the conditions stated in your contract are fair and legally permissible. Generally, a premarital agreement may not include:
- Issues relating to children — Stipulations about child support or child custody are not permitted in a marriage contract
- Marriage obligations — Premarital agreements may not detail behaviors expected during marriage, such as penalty for adultery
- Unconscionable material — Stipulations that are unfair or that may encourage divorce are not permitted
Challenging a marriage contract
In California, premarital agreements must meet a strict set of requirements, which if not met, will invalidate the contract. When creating the premarital agreement, both parties must:
I work with you to ensure the validity of your marriage contract. If you have entered into a premarital agreement and do not understand or were not made fully aware of the contents of the agreement, I can help.
Understanding the postnuptial agreement
Unlike premarital contracts, postnuptial or postmarital agreements are created and signed after marriage. Postmarital agreements address many of the same issues as premarital agreements and have the same restrictions. Like premarital agreements, postmarital agreements may not include agreements relating to child custody or child support issues. The main differences in the postnuptial agreement are:
- Fiduciary duty — Now that you are married, you have a fiduciary duty, which means that your postmarital agreement must reflect the best interest of your spouse or it may be overturned later
- No waiting period — Postmarital agreements do not require a seven-day waiting period. However, the waiting period benefits both parties, giving them time to thoroughly understand the contract’s terms