Family Law Blog

Four Reasons You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

Thursday, September 14, 2017

More and more marriages end in divorce. No matter how much you want your marriage to last forever, the odds may be against you. Because of this, prenuptial agreements are becoming popular.

Here are some reasons why you should have a prenuptial agreement (no matter how much you love the other person and don’t believe it will end).

  • Prenuptial agreements are there to protect you. Odds are against most marriages so if you have things that are valuable to you, you really need to protect yourself. It allows you to leave the marriage with what you came with. Your ex-spouse will not be able to take your valuables away from you. 
  • Prenuptial agreements are not just for rich people. If you (or your soon-to-be- spouse) have significant debt, a prenuptial agreement will protect each other. If there is still debt when you break up, you won’t have to pay your ex’s debt. He or she also will not be responsible for yours.
  • If you own a business, you need a prenuptial agreement. This will, not only ensure that the business stays in your name but will make sure that you get what you earn. It also goes the other way. If your business fails, your partner is protected against the loss.
  • Prenuptial agreements can also make divorce much easier. You will already know who is getting what in the event that you divorce so there will be less fighting. Couples with a relatively easy divorce are more likely to stay friends which is really important when there are children involved.

Though nobody wants to think about their marriage ending (especially right before the wedding), odds are that your marriage may not last. For this reason, it is important to have a prenuptial agreement in place. It will protect you and your soon-to-be-spouse.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Do Digital Assets Fit Into a Prenuptial Agreement?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

In these modern, constantly connected times, the way we interact with each other has changed. Relationships are celebrated through technology and sometimes started because of it. Sharing a Netflix password may be a show of trust and having something like a joint iTunes account could be a display of how serious a relationship has gotten. However, not all relationships last, so can a prenuptial agreement that safeguards your other assets also safeguard your digital ones as well?

It may sound silly, but including digital assets into a prenup or postnup is becoming more important as technology continues to grow. Digital assets that you can and should include in your prenuptial agreement include photography, audiovisual media, word documents, and e-mail. By putting in clauses on who can keep this digital media, it can help you retain ownership as well as a certain degree of digital security if a marriage dissolves. This is especially important if couples often share devices so no matter who retains ownership of it, they are not completely privileged to keep everything on the device. Imagine if you lost your next great American novel just because it was on your spouse's computer? It would be tragic.

Another important factor to consider is digital assets purchased for a specific platform. iTunes is a good example of this since you can't transfer media bought on that account to another. If you use platforms like this, it will save a lot of potential pain later by stating who gets ownership of it. Sometimes this might be a clause of one person getting ownership and the other getting compensation for the media contributed to it.

If you are drafting up a prenuptial agreement and aren't sure how your digital assets fit into it, contact us today.

Is A Prenuptial Agreement Right For You?

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Is a prenup the right thing for you? 

"Well, um...er..."

We get it.

Talking to your future spouse about creating and signing a prenuptial agreement is not romantic in the least. However, the lack of romance doesn't make the idea any less important when it comes to protecting your legal and financial rights. 

Prenuptial Agreement=Divorce Insurance

Just as you don't want to think about your loving relationship ending in divorce, you don't want to think about your life ending in a terrible accident or illness that leaves your spouse and kids without the resources necessary to carry on. That's why you buy life insurance. In that vein, a prenuptial agreement is protection against something going wrong. Like life insurance, you hope you never need it but can have peace-of-mind knowing it's there. 

What Can a Prenup Do? 

A properly drafted prenuptial agreement can: 

  • Protect your property, including property acquired during the course of your marriage
  • Prevent future court costs
  • Protect you from taking on legal responsibility for a spouse's debt
  • Provide an opportunity to resolve potential issues now before they arise


What a Prenup Can't Do

Not all family law issues can be resolved within the language of a prenuptial agreement. For example, a prenup cannot decide child custody issues or settle disputes about how to raise them. 

If a prenuptial agreement sounds like something you could benefit from, speaking to an experienced family law attorney is the next step in the process. Contact us anytime to schedule a consultation.

Four Common Reasons To Sign a Prenuptial Agreement

Friday, September 30, 2016

Though no one wants to envision their happy marriage ending in divorce, the statistics show otherwise. Many marriages end in divorce. Since many people truly believe that their marriage is going to last, they don’t want to bother with a prenuptial agreement. However, no matter how much you think it is going to work, you should sign an agreement before you get married.

Here are some of the most common reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement.

  • One person is much wealthier than the other. It doesn’t matter if one of you started off the marriage much richer or their career is going to skyrocket, you should protect your assets, just in case.
  • One person is in a lot of debt. Though you are going to work together to pay off the debt, you shouldn’t have to be stuck with their debt if the marriage ends.
  • Someone is remarrying. After your first marriage, your life will get much more complicated. Whether or not you have children from your first marriage, you still want to make sure that your first family will get their share of the money if something would happen to you.
  • You or your soon-to-be spouse owns a business. Unless you want to lose part of your business to your spouse if the marriage ends, you need to protect all of the hard work that you put into your business by signing a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement does not mean that you don’t want your marriage to work. Instead, it is there to protect you, just in case. You should protect your money, business, and any other family members. You also don’t want to be saddled with someone else’s debt if the marriage ends.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

How To Talk About Prenuptial Agreements

Friday, August 26, 2016

Most people have heard that it is bad luck for a groom to see the bride before a wedding ceremony, but it is almost as if a new superstition was created for prenuptial agreements as some people think bringing these legal documents up is a bad sign. Talking to your fiance about a prenup may be difficult but necessary, so here is some advice for starting a discussion about prenuptial agreements.

Laying The Groundwork

One of the biggest reasons couples get divorced is money, which partners often have trouble discussing. Serious conversations about finances may be unpleasant but can be crucial to having a successful union, so take the time to learn about your future spouse's spending habits, views about money and financial goals.

Confront Fears

While it is understandable that you might feel hesitant to bring it up, you may both share concerns about what will happen if a divorce is necessary. Talking about this and planning lets you both feel comfortable.

Honesty Policy

Tell the truth about why you want a prenup so that your partner can understand your perspective. If you are trying to think practically or something influenced your views about prenups, let your partner know.

Try Again

A marriage takes compromise, and this might start before the wedding takes place. If your partner is against a prenup, give it some time before revisiting the issue. A mediator could also help you both communicate and reach a conclusion you both support.

Contact us so that we can help you if you are considering a prenuptial agreement.

Make Sure Your Prenuptial Agreement is Valid

Thursday, August 04, 2016

prenuptial agreement, like any other contract, must meet certain requirements in order to be considered legally valid. The rules governing prenuptial agreements in California are laid out in California Family Code sections 1610-1617. Below are some of the common reasons prenuptial agreements are found to be invalid.

It isn’t in Writing

Under section 1611, “a premarital agreement shall be in writing and signed by both parties.” If it isn’t in writing and signed by both parties, it is invalid and cannot be enforced. Also important to note, a prenuptial agreement can only be modified in writing.

It Has Terms that are Against Public Policy

Certain terms of a prenuptial agreement may be considered invalid as being against public policy. Examples of such terms might be those that attempt to limit child support, to force a spouse to perform certain acts, or that impose a needlessly punitive outcome against a spouse.

There Was Duress, Fraud, or a Lack of Understanding

Both parties must have freely entered into the prenuptial agreement for it to be valid. If there was an enormous power imbalance at the time that a prenuptial agreement was signed, this is a sign that duress may have been present. Duress is also commonly claimed when a party didn’t have an adequate chance to think about the agreement before signing it.

If one party intentionally induced the other into signing the prenuptial agreement under false pretenses, this can also invalidate it. For instance, if a spouse lied about their finances or made promises they never intended to fulfill, this could be considered fraud and invalidate the prenuptial agreement.

Even a simple lack of understanding may invalidate a prenuptial agreement if the misunderstanding was reasonable. If a particular clause of a prenuptial agreement was written in a confusing or ambiguous way, it may not be enforceable. Ideally, a prenuptial agreement should be drafted and considered by both parties well in advance of a wedding, and each party should have the opportunity to consult with an attorney. Steps should always be taken to make sure both parties fully understand the document.

Have an Attorney Take a Look at It

A prenuptial agreement is a highly important document. When a couple decides to use a prenuptial agreement, the best course of action is to have it drafted—or at least reviewed by—an attorney. If you have any questions about this issue, please feel free to contact us.


Why are Prenuptial Agreements So Important?

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Having a prenuptial agreement is often looked down upon among the general public. However, there are actually many reasons why this type of agreement may be the best thing to draw up before you get married. If you are considering getting a prenuptial agreement, here is some information that can help you make the best decision.

Reduces Stress

One of the main benefits of a prenuptial agreement is that it helps relieve marital stress. If one party comes into the marriage with significantly more than the other, the couple will not need to worry that their relationship will be affected by these items. Instead, they will be able to enjoy being with one another and focusing on more important areas of their relationship.

Protect Previous Dependents

Another reason you may find a prenuptial agreement important is when you are remarrying. Couples in this situation often have children from other relationships and other financial obligations to be concerned about. With a prenuptial agreement, these additional parties will be protected in the case of a divorce.

Makes Liabilities Easier

Finally, a prenuptial agreement can help make dealing with previous liabilities much simpler. In many relationships, liabilities that are brought into a marriage are much more complicated to combine with those of the other spouse. A prenuptial agreement helps to keep them separate and designates who is in charge of which liabilities for future reference.

As you can now see, prenuptial agreements are beneficial to many couples who are planning to marry. In order to protect both you and your new spouse, creating this type of agreement is a great decision. To learn more about the process you will go through to create a prenuptial agreement, contact us today.


Prenuptial Agreements Does Not Mean You Expect Your Marriage To Fail

Thursday, May 05, 2016

When many people hear the words prenuptial agreements, they automatically think about celebrities or anyone else with a substantial amount of money. Some people also think that when a couple agrees to a prenuptial that they believe there is a high chance they will get divorced.

When people buy home insurance or car insurance, does that mean they believe something awful will happen to their home or inside their home? Does it mean they believe they will get into a car accident? It means they are ensuring they are protecting themselves so they will be covered just in case something unforeseen happens.

This is the same reason why people get prenuptial agreements. It is protection from any unforeseen incident. A prenuptial agreement gives couples the ability to discuss all of their current and future wishes.

Discussing the prenuptial agreement also gives a couple the ability to discuss everything concerning assets, property, and children. It is best to talk and agree to certain terms while both sides are speaking and getting alone. When both sides are at odds and no one is getting alone, it can be difficult to agree to certain things regarding finances, property, and children.

A prenuptial agreement does not mean that you do not have faith in their marriage. You want to protect yourself, your spouse, and your children. It does not mean that your marriage and spouse are not important to you. We understand your spouse may not agree to the signing of a prenuptial or that your spouse may have negative feelings, but there is legal help for both sides.

A prenuptial agreement does not have to change anything regarding your marriage and the love you have for a person. Contact us today if you would like a consultation and advice on prenuptial agreements.


3 Tips for a Successful Prenuptial Agreement

Friday, February 12, 2016

Before you commit to a marriage with someone who you love, you have to be smart about your assets and finances -- now and in the future -- no matter your level of wealth.

We recommend that you always have a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle. Because, though no one likes to talk about it, there are fewer worse things that you can do than not having both members in a marriage agreeing to a prenup for later down the road.

Here are three California prenuptial agreement tips to help you along.

1. Consider, before you sign on the dotted line, what exactly you and your spouse are bringing into the marriage. In most cases, the things that you bring into a marriage remain yours, like debts and property. As time goes by, however, combined assets and most joint property become shared. Work with a lawyer to sort out these types of details.

2. Remember how much lines will blur over time. As years go by, and finances and property are joined, ownership and titles become murky. In marriages that dissolve after extended periods of time, it takes some detective work to discern liability. A prenuptial agreement solves many of these problems, so have the conversation long before the wedding.

3. Do not let emotion dictate how and what you include in your prenuptial agreement. Have a serious talk with your partner about assets and property, and keep all emotion out of the picture. Never allow the idea of love and marriage to twist your concept of what's yours and what's theirs.

Your prenuptial agreement should be a document that speaks for you when you can't, so work with an impartial and experienced attorney when drafting your paperwork.

If you need more information on how we can help you with your CA prenuptial agreement, do not hesitate to contact us anytime. Jamra & Jamra are Beverly Hills family law attorneys focused exclusively on family law.

Prenuptial Agreements Can Protect Both Parties

Friday, November 27, 2015

People often think of prenuptial agreements as one-sided, legal documents meant to protect the party with the most to lose. That is not always the case. Prenuptial (prenup) agreements can be put in place to protect both parties entering a marriage.

To start with, a prenuptial agreement puts all the financial cards on the table before the marriage begins. This is a smart step for any couple. At the very least, you will be entering marriage with a clear understanding of your separate and joint financial situations.

If you are already living with your spouse-to-be, a prenup can help define gray areas such as who claims the custom dining set and who owns the 60 inch flat-screen. It can also set the tone for equality going forward in the relationship. Using the prenup as a base, you can start your marriage with a clean slate.

The prenup can also ensure that valuable family heirlooms stay in the right family. Value can be monetary or sentimental in nature and both kinds of value come into play during an emotional divorce. No one can be sure what the future holds. Use your prenup to protect your most valued assets.

Of course, a prenuptial agreement also protects the heart, helping to ensure that both parties are marrying for love, not money. Who wouldn't want to have that in writing?

If you would like more information about how to create a mutually beneficial prenuptial agreement, contact us. At Jamra &Jamra we specialize in family law with a customized focus on our clients' needs. We serve clients in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Southern California from our Beverly Hills office.