Prenuptial Agreement

PRACTICE AREAS

PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT LAWYER SAN DIEGO

Preliminary Considerations: A “premarital” (or “antenuptial”) aka prenuptial agreements are contracts executed between prospective spouses in contemplation of marriage, fixing marital property rights and financial responsibilities upon consummation of the marriage. Or, in the context of a domestic partnership, it is a contract executed between the parties in contemplation of registering their partnership with the State, fixing their property rights and responsibilities upon the registration.

MOTIVATION BEHIND PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

The motivation in executing a prenuptial agreement is ordinarily the opposite of the motivation behind a marital settlement agreement: Whereas a marital settlement agreement is generally intended to define the parties’ rights upon an impending termination of their marriage “which is admittedly in a state of decay,” a premarital (or antenuptial) agreement is typically intended to foster or perpetuate conditions that will help preserve a forthcoming marriage. [Estate of Butler (1988) 205 CA3d 311, 314-315, 252 CR 210, 211; see also Marriage of Pendleton & Fireman (2000) 24 C4th 39, 53, 99 CR2d 278, 288—“availability of an enforceable premarital agreement may in fact encourage rather than discourage marriage” (internal quotes omitted)]

Premarital agreements executed on or after January 1, 1986 are subject to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA, Fam.C. § 1600 et seq.). Prior law continues to govern the enforceability of certain oral post-1985 premarital agreements but is otherwise inapplicable to the extent it conflicts with the Act. [Fam.C. § 1601]

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