Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements

Family Law Attorney in Westlake Village

When you are preparing for marriage, you may need to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement. Before you tie the knot, speak with an attorney. There are many benefits to having a prenuptial agreement, including peace of mind and security. If you and your soon-to-be spouse are interested in preparing a prenuptial agreement, you need to contact Richard Ross Associates right away. At our firm, we are proud to provide our clients with over 30 years of experience in family law. Our top priorities are to make sure that each client's best interests are represented and to keep an open line of communication between the attorney and clients at all times.

In the state of California, prenuptial agreements are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. The act clearly outlines everything from property distribution in the event of a divorce to spousal support should the married couple separate. If you and your fiancé(e) are still on the fence about obtaining a prenuptial agreement, consider the following benefits to drafting one; you may want to have a premarital agreement if:

You are wealthier than your spouse
If you earn a higher income than your spouse, obtaining a prenuptial agreement can help you keep a specific portion of your income that you generated during your marriage or had when you entered your marriage in the event of a separation or divorce.

You are marrying for a second or third time
If this is not your first marriage, you may want to protect your assets in a prenuptial agreement. By obtaining a prenuptial agreement, you can also protect any children you have with a previous spouse from losing any inheritance in a divorce from a subsequent spouse.

You are a business partner or owner
In the event that you and your spouse divorce, you may lose your share of your business if you do not have a prenuptial agreement specifying how that asset should be handled. A prenuptial agreement can also assist you in protecting your business from having your spouse become a partner in the operation if you divorce.

You are less wealthy than your fiancé(e)
While most people assume that a prenuptial agreement can protect just wealthy spouses, less-wealthy spouses can also guarantee that they will be financially protected in the case of a divorce by establishing a spousal support agreement prior to marriage.

Your fiancé(e) is in debt
If your soon-to-be spouse has high amounts of debt and you end up divorcing in the future, you may incur some of their debts in a divorce. A prenuptial agreement will protect you from being burdened with your spouse's debt in a divorce.

Are you ready to draft your marital agreement?

Searching for a lawyer in Westlake Village, CA who can draft your prenup? Our divorce attorneys can answer any questions or concerns that you may have regarding a prenuptial agreement. If you are interested in speaking with a family law attorney and determining whether this is the correct course of action for you and your betrothed, contact our firm as soon as possible. We know that planning a wedding can be time consuming and require a lot of your attention, but do not let this important detail of your marriage fall by the wayside as you plan your big day. Contact us today for a case evaluation now!

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • This is very important: If you have separated from your spouse before one of you has filed for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, avoid agreeing to and placing into effect a temporary parenting plan arrangement regarding the children unless you will be able to live with this arrangement after the divorce papers have been filed. Once you begin a parenting plan that seems to be working, it becomes the "status quo." It is very difficult to convince a mediator or judge to change the status quo, especially if it is working or appears to be working and is not detrimental to the minor children.
  • If you have not received a judgment dissolving your marriage before the end of the year, you may file an individual tax return under the status of "married, filing separately" or a joint tax return with your spouse. You should consult your accountant as to the advantages of these options. You may obtain special information booklets regarding tax information for divorce or separated individuals from your local IRS office or read the IRS booklet online.
  • To file an action for divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, a person must have resided in the state of California for six months and in the county where the action is filed for three months prior to filing the petition in court. This is true of either the petitioner or the respondent - either person can meet the test and allow a filing. If your spouse meets the residency requirement, you can file even if you do not meet it yourself.
  • The court can and usually will order you to move out of your residence if your spouse convinces the court that you have been violent toward your spouse or threatened your spouse. You could be given ex-parte notice to be in court the next day because your spouse is seeking an order to make you move out and stay out. You can be ordered to leave immediately and not return even if your spouse is not on the property title or lease agreement! Once you are ordered to leave, it is not likely that you will be allowed to return.
  • Before you get a divorce, photocopy all relevant financial documents that you can obtain and store them off-site with a trusted friend or relative. Do not store them in the trunk of your car where they can easily be found and removed by your spouse. There may be both personal and strategic reasons not to tip off your spouse that documents are being reviewed for a possible dissolution proceeding. Make copies of documents that you find in the residence and return the original documents to their original location as soon as possible so that your spouse won't notice that they are missing. It is often advisable to make the photocopies when you are sure your spouse is away for an extended time, such as during a workday. It is advisable to gather as many relevant financial documents as possible while they are still available and before they have been removed or destroyed by your spouse. This will significantly reduce the cost of divorce litigation if the documents do not have to be recovered later. It will also permit us to get a true picture of all community assets and debts as soon as possible.