Premarital & Postmarital Agreements

Premarital agreements mean agreements between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage, often referred to as prenuptial agreements. They are written agreements designed to protect individual assets in the event of a divorce, and may also outline the division of community property or the terms of spousal support should the marriage come to an end. The agreements are in writing and signed by both parties. The parties to a premarital agreement may arrange their marital property rights as they desire. However, custody issues and the right to child support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement. Premarital agreements often pertain to the disposition of property on separation or divorce, and spousal support.

Postmarital Agreements, also known as Marital Property Agreements, are similar but are created after a couple is already married. These agreements between married persons, like Premarital Agreements, are in writing and signed by both parties. In Marital Property Agreements, a husband and wife often change the character of community property into separate property, agree that income from separate property will be separate property, and convert separate property into community property. A partition agreement is, however, void with respect to the rights of a preexisting creditor whose rights are intended to be defrauded by it.

Couples with significant assets or wealth, whether acquired before or after marriage, should consider creating a premarital or postmarital agreement to protect and preserve those assets. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through this process and the delicate discussions needed to achieve the right legal protections to meet your needs.