Why Are Premarital Agreements Important in California?

Why Are Premarital Agreements Important in California?

Why Are Premarital Agreements Important in California?

While they once held a more negative connotation, premarital agreements are becoming increasingly popular across the country. This is due to a combination of high divorce rates and the general need for people to protect their hard-earned property. Prenuptial agreements allow fiancées to detail important information regarding their personal assets, in addition to helping them outline how property should be distributed if a divorce occurs. If you’re about to get married in California, you should strongly consider creating a prenup with your partner.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement, and What Does It Do?

Prenuptial agreements are legal contracts created by couples who are planning on getting married. They are primarily used to protect the separate property of each spouse and discuss what steps should be taken if a divorce takes place. Separate property includes any assets or debt that was acquired by one partner before the marriage took place. By outlining each partner’s separate property in a prenup, spouses can trust that their own belongings will be protected and kept out of the property division process.

California’s Community Property Laws and the Importance of Prenups

California is one of the few states in the U.S. that divides marital property according to community property laws. These laws state that each spouse is entitled to 50% of their marital property. Marital property, more commonly called community property in California, refers to all assets and properties that were collected by a couple during their legal marriage. Community property laws require all marital property to be divided equally between spouses if they divorce.

Because of community property laws, many individuals are frightened that they will lose important, hard-earned assets in a divorce or even have to pay for debts that they didn’t collect. Creating a prenup before your marriage is essential to help protect your property and keep it out of the divorce process in the future.

How Can You Benefit From a Prenuptial Agreement in California?

A prenuptial agreement can benefit both spouses immensely. Just a few of the ways that you can use a prenup to your advantage include:

  • Protecting Your Separate Property: One of the most well-known and common uses of a prenup is for basic asset protection. Because all marital property has to be divided equally in a California divorce, identifying your separate property in a legal contract with your partner can offer protection for the future.
  • Identifying Debts That Are Not Yours: If you are aware that your partner has collected debt before your marriage, a prenuptial agreement is highly recommended. A prenup can help ensure that, if a divorce occurs, the debt that your partner collected on their own will not be given to you.
  • Outlining Steps to Take in a Potential Divorce to Avoid Future Disputes: Divorces have a stereotype for being full of conflict. While no couple gets married hoping that they will divorce, detailing the steps that you should take if a divorce occurs can help prevent a great deal of conflicts in the future.
  • Detail Financial Rights and Responsibilities in Marriage: In most cases of marriage, the financial boundaries between each spouse begin to blend. A prenup can discuss certain financial responsibilities of each spouse, details about joint accounts, and more.

Why Are Premarital Agreements Important in California?


Q: What Are the Requirements for Forming a Valid Prenup in California?

A: There are just a few requirements that must be met for a prenuptial agreement to be valid in California, which are:

  • The contract must be in writing.
  • Each party must sign the contract voluntarily and consent to its terms.
  • The agreement includes full disclosure of each party’s finances, including their debts.
  • The party who was given the contract had seven calendar days to review it with legal aid.
  • The agreement was signed in the presence of a notary and was officially notarized.

Q: What Is California’s 7-Day Rule?

A: In California, every couple that is looking to create a prenup must adhere to the 7-day rule. This rule requires that the drafting spouse gives the other spouse a full seven days to consider and review the agreement. These seven days are meant to give one fiancée the chance to review the terms laid out with their attorney and ensure that everything is fair before they actually sign it. A prenup can be signed close to your wedding day, but you must ensure that the party who has to sign was given seven full days to review it. Otherwise, it won’t be valid for your wedding.

Q: What Cannot Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

A: While prenups do allow soon-to-be spouses the chance to address a variety of subjects if a divorce occurs, there are certain areas that are off-limits. For example, an individual cannot attempt to limit or deny child support in a premarital agreement. A prenup also cannot contain personal preferences or requests concerning the relationship. This means that, for example, one spouse cannot try to force the other to do certain chores by attempting to put them in a prenup.

Q: How Can an Attorney Help With Premarital Agreement Matters?

A: Working with a family lawyer can be incredibly beneficial when you’re drafting a prenup. We have comprehensive knowledge of family law and can assist in forming the terms of your premarital agreement. Our team can also work with you and your partner to ensure that the right steps are followed to create a valid contract. For anyone contemplating creating a prenup, doing so with the assistance of a family attorney is essential.

Your San Diego Family Lawyers and Law Firm

Prenuptial agreements aren’t just for individuals with valuable assets. These contracts are just one simple way that you can protect yourself and your assets from potential issues in the future. Bickford Blado & Botros takes pride in offering family law services that help protect all our clients. We can assist in drafting, reviewing, and validating prenups across southern California.

If you’d like to find out more about how our team of attorneys can assist you with premarital agreements, contact Bickford Blado & Botros with your concerns.




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