Orange County Prenuptial Agreements Attorney
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Orange County, California Prenuptial Agreements Lawyer
Most soon-to-be-wed couples aren’t dwelling too long on the possibility of their union ending in divorce or considering how they would handle the division of their assets if that fate befalls them. For this reason, prenuptial agreements are often overlooked—after all, what couple wants to consider a plan of action “just in case” of a future divorce? For many, even bringing it up feels taboo.
However, it is important to remember that a marriage is so much more than simply a relationship between two individuals.
A marriage is a complex legal agreement and, like with any other kind of legal agreement, one where it’s important to take the strongest possible precautions. Many different kinds of couples can benefit from the security of a prenup, even if divorce feels like an unlikely scenario.
It is also worth noting that California is notorious for having especially harsh divorce penalties. This is a significant reason why, for couples getting married in the state of California, a prenuptial agreement could be a precaution worth taking. It can help you adequately protect your financial interests—no matter how agreeable the circumstances of your marriage.
What Type of Lawyer Handles Prenups?
Generally, premarital agreements are handled by family law attorneys. If you and your spouse share representation, keep in mind that both parties should be represented by their own lawyer in these cases.
Do You Need an Attorney for a Prenup in California?
When you are determining whether or not you need a lawyer for a prenup, keep in mind just how complex this kind of agreement can become. Without an attorney, it can be difficult just determining whether a prenup is a good idea, in your unique situation.
There are a few factors that you should take into account. In particular, a premarital agreement could be a good idea if:
- you were previously married (and are now divorced).
- you have children, or if your partner has children.
- there’s a substantial disparity of wealth between you and your partner.
- either you or your partner are business owners.
For example, if you were previously married, there’s a chance you have assets that have since carried over into the relationship you’re in currently; this could include property. On another hand, if either you or your partner have children from a previous marriage or relationship, then you may opt to keep child support payments separate. Further, if you are to pass away, having a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that any inheritance goes to the parties you were intending to receive it.
One common incentive to sign a premarital agreement is one party having far more wealth (or far more debt) than the other. Whenever there’s a significant disparity of wealth, it’s understandable that one party is going to want to protect their current and future earnings, should a divorce occur. In a similar vein, if one party has a substantial amount of debt, a prenup can regulate who that debt will belong to if the couple were to divorce. In an instance where a prenup does not exist, for instance, it’s possible that one partner may be required to pay a portion of their ex partner’s debts, following a divorce. A premarital agreement can allow you to avoid this sort of situation, entirely.
Some couples may also want to protect their business interests. If one or both parties are business owners, a prenup can be vital. With a prenuptial agreement, you are able to control exactly how your business will be divided in the event of a divorce. Without a premarital agreement, your business could end up being divided in a way that isn’t beneficial to the company in the long run.
Even if none of these characteristics describe you, it is important to educate yourself on the benefits of a prenuptial agreement. A prenup can cover both assets and property that you or your partner owned prior to the marriage as well as any new assets that you take on during the marriage. That is to say, a prenuptial agreement can have a dramatic effect on the division of assets, should a divorce occur. In order for your prenup to be as sound as possible, you’ll need to work with an experienced Orange County attorney. Otherwise, you could end up with an agreement that does not protect all your interests in the way you hoped.
How Much Does a Prenup Attorney Cost?
The price of a prenup attorney can vary depending on the complexity of your situation and the skill level/experience of the lawyer you hire. On average, however, you can expect to pay somewhere around $2,500 for a prenuptial agreement lawyer. Assuming you and your partner are in good straight-forward financial situations, you could even pay as little as $1,200 to $2,400 on a premarital agreement lawyer.
Additionally, your location can impact the amount you pay for a prenup. If you live somewhere with a higher cost of living, there’s a good chance that you’ll be paying more for a prenup attorney than someone who lives in a cheaper, more rural area. In some major cities, it’s possible that you could pay as much as $10,000 for a prenuptial agreement attorney.
Don’t forget to take into account that if negotiations end up taking a lot of time, you should expect to pay more for your prenuptial agreement. If this process turns out to be on the contentious side, it’s likely going to take more time to work through with your spouse and their legal counsel and come to an agreement—resulting in a larger payment to your prenup attorney.
Unsure how much you, personally, can expect to pay for a premarital agreement lawyer? If this is the case, then consider consulting with an experienced family law attorney. Once you’ve given them a clearer idea of your financial and personal circumstances, you should be able to receive a more precise estimate of what you will pay.
Premarital Agreement Laws in California
In the state of California, prenups must adhere to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act(UPAA). This statute outlines all the requirements and rules for prenups in the state. According to this law, although a premarital agreement is signed prior to the start of a marriage, it doesn’t take effect until after the marriage has begun.
Depending upon the needs of the clients, a California prenup can include factors such as financial interests, real estate, earnings and income, debts, as well as any other assets, present or future. According to the UPAA, the main requirements for a prenup in California are as follows:
- There must be a written contract.
- Particular lawful terms must be used within the premarital agreement.
- Both parties’ signatures must be given, voluntarily, with no intimidation or coercion involved
- The contract must be notarized.
- Both parties have a minimum of one week to seek out independent legal counsel prior to signing the prenup
In order for a California prenup to be considered valid, it must adhere to all the aforementioned criteria. In the event that a couple does end up divorcing, their prenuptial agreement will not hold up in a court of law if any of these requirements are not met. For this reason, it is crucial that you hire a highly experienced attorney to make sure that all the basic requirements of the UPAA are satisfied within your document.
What Can a California Prenup Not Include?
Although a prenuptial agreement can be quite comprehensive, it isn’t possible for it to cover every single financial situation that could arise during a divorce. Restrictions do exist, and it’s important to keep them in mind.
If a prenup attempts to cover anything that is not legally allowed, the court is not obligated to enforce it. For instance, illegal terms in a prenup could include anything related to child support or child custody. At the end of the day, the court retains the right to make child support and custody decisions that are in the best interest of the child of the divorcing couple. Parents do not have the right to take this ability away from the court.
If any of the terms require one or both parties to commit illegal acts, this term will not be upheld. The same can be said for any terms that are deemed unjust, unfair, deceptive, or even exploitative. Non-financial requirements or terms relating to the relationship itself also cannot be legally included in a California prenup.
Remember that it is necessary for prenuptial agreements to include a written document. Verbal agreements will not be upheld in court under any circumstances. Only a legal document that has been signed, notarized, and isn’t missing any other core requirements will be considered valid and upheld in court.
Contact Experienced Irvine Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers
At DeArmey Law, we understand how to best draft a prenuptial agreement in a way that benefits each partner most. Even if you are currently unsure whether a prenup is for you, consider consulting with the premarital agreement attorneys at DeArmey. We’ll provide you with additional insight on the process and help you determine whether or not a prenup is the best path for you and your future spouse. Looking to get started? Simply contact DeArmey Law through our website today.