Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial Agreement Attorney in Riverside

Outlining Spousal Wishes in Divorces

Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is a legal document that outlines a couple's wishes in regards to property division and other marital issues, such as alimony, child support, child custody, and visitation. Unlike a prenuptial agreement, however, postnuptial agreements are filed after a couple has been married.

Are you prepared for the worst? A divorce attorney in Riverside can walk you through your options for a postnuptial agreement and help you draft arrangement that suits your needs. At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, our family law team includes a Board Certified Family Law Specialist. Let us bring expert counsel to your case to help ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.

Benefits of Postnuptial Agreements

There are several benefits to filing a postnuptial agreement. First, a postnuptial agreement can protect both your separate and marital property from equal distribution in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. Second, because your wishes in regards to child support, spousal support, and child custody will already be disclosed in the agreement, a postnuptial agreement can also expedite the divorce process. This can save you both time and money in the long run.

Although deciding what to include in a postnuptial agreement can make for an awkward and uncomfortable discussion, it is in your best interest to have an agreement on file with the courts. Not only will a postnuptial agreement protect your assets and best interests during a divorce, but it can also save you from the stress and anxiety of a contested divorce.

Postnuptial Agreement vs. Marital Settlement Agreement

There is a huge difference between a postnuptial agreement and a marital settlement agreement. According to the California Family Code Part 5, Chapter 1, § 1500, all property rights by the husband and the wife can be altered legally by either a premarital agreement or another type of marital property agreement. A marital settlement agreement takes place during the process of divorce. These would be the terms of your divorce that must be either agreed upon or decided by a judge. Postnuptial agreements do not take place before or after a couple is married, but rather during the time of marriage. Some couples may find this a favorable option if they never made a prenuptial agreement but are becoming concerned that divorce or separation may be a reality.

Enforcing the Contract

When entering into a postnuptial agreement, it is imperative to understand the scope of its legality. It must include the same elements that any other California contract would need to legitimize the agreement, as well as elements specific to this type of contract. It must be done in writing, it must be consented to voluntarily, it must provide full disclosure, and it must be executed by both parties. Once all of these elements have been established, a postnuptial agreement is legally binding in the event of a divorce or a death of one of the spouses.

If a married couple enters into this agreement without the assistance of an lawyer, they may not understand what they are agreeing to. In the event of a divorce, however, a spouse may be able to challenge the validity of the contract by proving that they were unaware of the circumstances of the agreement or that they were manipulated into approving it, since they did not have the chance to speak with a legal advisor. To avoid entering into a contract that you are unsure of, however, you should always seek legal representation before signing.

Call our Riverside divorce lawyers today and set up your free consultation!