Many people in the East Bay Area’s wine regions have probably heard about premarital agreements.
Couples thinking of entering a marriage may be considering a premarital agreement for a number of reasons, even if they have no expectation of getting a divorce or separation.
When drafted correctly, a premarital agreement can go a long way in reducing conflict over finances since it will set clear expectations of what happens when a marriage ends.
Premarital agreements must comply with the law in order to be valid
At the most basic level, a premarital agreement must meet the requirements of California law.
For one, premarital agreements only can cover matters of property. Matters about child custody and parenting time will remain up to judge since such matters involve the best interests of the children.
Likewise, an agreement cannot adversely affect the right of a child to receive support from his or her parents.
An agreement has to be signed by both sides and only takes effect after a valid marriage.
Each side must also have had an adequate opportunity to speak with an attorney about the agreement before signing it. California’s rules are actually quite detailed in this respect.
Even if attorneys are involved, both sides also have to have a complete and accurate idea of the assets and debts that will be part of the marriage at the time the agreement gets signed.
Other considerations for premarital agreements
Having a legally valid premarital agreement is a good start, but an effective agreement will go beyond minimums.
A Livermore resident who is interested in a premarital agreement will want to speak with an experienced family law attorney to make sure that an agreement can be tailored to meet his or her needs.