Family Law Blog

Prenuptial Agreements Can Become the Solid Foundation for a Lasting Marriage

Friday, September 27, 2019

Prenuptial Agreements too often are depicted as a form of distrust, with the assumption that one person does not fully trust the other. Other times, people assume the couple does not want to share any of the wealth they might hold. Neither assumption is true. Indeed, couples who have a healthy relationship are building a solid foundation in preparation for their union by agreeing to a prenuptial agreement. 

Marriage Is a Legal Contract

Besides being in love and wanting to be by each other's side for eternity, marriage is a legally binding contract. It is crucial to have an attorney involved with the agreement because an attorney can approach your marriage from a legal standpoint to protect your finances. Thus, eliminating any financial worries later on.

Making the Agreement Enforceable 

One of the key requirements of a premarital agreement is financial transparency. Full disclosure of both your assets and debts is a must. Otherwise, the notion that one person misled the other could surface and make the agreement invalid. It could create friction where there wasn't a problem.

Why Involve an Attorney

The law is complex at best, and there are laws in California that have certain requirements that must be met. There is a time-frame to consider before signing and the couple must understand completely all of the legalities before signing. An experienced attorney will ensure that the couple knows exactly what is involved and is in complete agreement before signing.

California law is very specific about premarital agreements, and if the agreement is one-sided, was signed too soon during the review period, or one of the parties waived the right to counsel, the agreement won't be enforceable later on. There are also special considerations having to do with spousal support or children if the couple plans on starting a family.

Learn More About Prenuptial Agreements 

If you and your fiance are considering a prenuptial agreement, please contact us. Our staff is highly educated and along with their experience gives them the expertise to ensure the beginning of your new life together will start on a rock-solid foundation to build a strong, healthy, and happy marriage. 

The five biggest mistakes you can make with prenuptial agreements and how to avoid them

Sunday, July 21, 2019

couple making prenuptial agreement with lawyer

Bob Ross may have liked mistakes, as he called them "happy accidents." There's nothing happy about making mistakes with prenuptial agreements, though, so we'll cover the five biggest mistakes you can make, and how to steer clear of them. 

1. Letting your anger get the best of you 

There's a stigma on prenuptial agreements. We've all heard horror stories about people who signed them and ended up with nothing. It can be easy to get angry or upset when your beloved asks you to sign one;  after all, aren't you two supposed to be working towards happily ever after? 

If you don't take the time to really center yourself and consider why your partner may want a prenuptial agreement, then you may miss some important aspects of the agreement. Read it once you have calmly discussed it with your partner. You don't want to sign a binding legal contract that you couldn't understand because of your anger. 

2. Not taking the time to recognize your own bias

If you're the partner who wants the prenuptial agreement, you need to be clear about what your goals of the prenuptial agreement are. Have you accounted for the rising costs of childcare? What will child support look like ten years down the line? Are you truly protecting your partner or just yourself? 

A prenuptial agreement is put in place in order to protect you both should divorce become an issue. Be sure to discuss the agreement with your partner and take into account his or her wants and needs before you ask them to sign anything. Make it an ongoing conversation and be sure that both of you are truly satisfied with the results. 

3. Doing it without a lawyer 

People hire lawyers to write contracts for a reason. Without a legal expert to guide you in the process, you may miss something. You may forget to include important clauses or- worse- you may leave out assets entirely. You need to be honest with your attorney after you and your partner come to a consensus. 

Neglecting to hire a lawyer could land you even deeper in debt in the end. It's a small cost to protect you and your loved ones later down the line. Things happen. Couples grow apart. Treat this agreement like a safeguard and do it right. 

4. Neglecting to stand your ground

You love your fiance with all of your heart, so you want to make them happy. You'd sign your soul away if it meant you could live out your dreams of domestic bliss. That could land you in trouble. You could end up signing everything away. 

Keep yourself in mind first and foremost. Ask yourself if your needs and interests are being met. A marriage is a two-way street and a prenuptial agreement should be too. 

5. Making ridiculous demands

You can't tell your spouse you want a red car every other Christmas- a judge just won't accept it. There are reasonable and unreasonable demands in the eyes of the law. Mandating sex, housework, childcare and other provisions won't make for a good argument before a divorce judge. According to Pittsburgh Divorce and Family Law, a court may not even adhere to a prenuptial agreement when deciding custody of a child.

Focus on the important things, like financial assets. That is what is going to protect you and your family in the future. 

 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us.

Is Your Prenuptial Agreement Safe From Nullification?

Thursday, March 28, 2019

closeup of bride and groom holding hands

With all the uncertainty in the world, prenuptial agreements are becoming more standard in upcoming marriages. It is not that these agreements set guidelines for a marriage, but rather set a healthy foundation for what will hopefully be a lasting marriage. However, people change and a prenuptial agreement is meant to protect both parties. Yet, if you have one crafted, it is important to make sure it stands up to scrutiny. If you want to make sure your prenuptial agreement is protected from nullification, it is best to know the ways it can be nullified.

Verbal Agreements

Even if you have all the witnesses in the world, a verbal prenuptial agreement will never be legally binding. In essence, a verbal prenuptial agreement doesn't actually exist.

Invalid Provisions

Again, a prenuptial agreement is not a document on how both parties need to act in a marriage. In fact, by including such invalid provisions within, it can actually nullify the entire document.  Furthermore, if the circumstances of one or both parties have changed drastically, you may find that courts will not uphold a prenuptial agreement in which the terms have morphed into something grossly unfair.

Time Was a Factor

It is very important that when a prenuptial agreement is being drafted, you give your spouse an appropriate amount of time to read the document and sign it. If you finished drafting the document and pressured them into signing it that very same day, it could very well be your undoing. By proving there was pressure in signing or that there was not the adequate time given to read it, the courts may render it invalid.

False Information Was Included

Lies are neither something that helps build a healthy marriage nor will they work to your advantage in a prenuptial agreement. If it can be proven that you failed to disclose important information that would affect the prenuptial agreement and the terms set within, the courts could render the entire agreement invalid.

Are you crafting a prenuptial agreement for your upcoming marriage, or worse, challenging one from your dissolving marriage? We can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra does for you.

Had Children Before Marriage? You're Perfect for a Pre-Nup

Friday, March 16, 2018

To many couples looking towards marrying, a pre-nup is pretty close to a taboo word to bring up. Some feel like it is basically saying that there is a chance that your love might die and you want to plan for when it does. However, this may be true for couples that are planning to get married and officially start their lives, but not all commitments work that way. In many couples these days, often couples end up having children before they even think of marriage, and this makes them a perfect candidate for a pre-nup if they decide to tie the knot.

When you have children before marriage, it lends a certain amount of practicality and logistics to your relationship. You might want to provide better for your kids so you choose a smaller, cheaper wedding. You might understand that your marriage might not last, so you choose a pre-nup.

For many parents that choose to get married after they have children, they will always choose the route that is best for their children, and this includes if that marriage doesn't work out. By crafting a pre-nup when you are still very much in love, both sides of the couple can make decisions with a clear, unclouded head. In this pre-nup they can put certain provisions, such as terms for child custody inside that can make it so both parents get a fair split of not just the assets, but the children as well.

While many may tout "doing things out of order," it has been found that having children before getting married actually has a better chance of those marriages lasting since both sides tend to not look at their relationship through rose-colored glasses. If you are a couple that already has children and are looking to officially get married, but still want a pre-nup set in place, contact us today.

Should Social Media Be Included in a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

We live in an increasingly changing world, and one of the major changes that wasn't really such a big deal ten years ago was social media. Just a few years in the past, couples may have laughed at the very thought of adding social media into their pre-nuptial agreement, but times have changed. Now social media is crucial for image management. What you put out there or what your spouse puts out there can come back to bite us in a very personal as well as professional way.

Adding clauses for social media into a pre-nuptial agreement may not be for everyone. However, there are many these days that use social media to foster a positive image of ourselves, and that needs to be maintained. People who come from prominent families have careers in the spotlight including everyone from movie stars to Twitch streamers with substantial followers, high-level executives, and even restaurateurs have an image to protect.

Adding clauses for social media into a pre-nuptial agreement can cover a wide array of different actions. This can include eliminating and not posting further negative reviews of competing businesses, topics addressed on social media (such as politics or religious views), tagging locations while out and about, access to the accounts by the other party in a marriage, or even guidelines for posting pictures of any future children. All of these clauses in a pre-nuptial agreement can work in a positive way to help protect the image of both parties. After all, what one spouse posts can highly affect the other's reputation.

If you are looking to craft a pre-nuptial agreement and want to address social media in it, contact us today. We often work with more traditional pre-nups, but the world is changing and we know that pre-nups need to change with it.


What Can’t Prenuptial Agreements Cover?

Friday, October 27, 2017

What Can’t Prenuptial Agreements Cover?

Before tying the knot, it benefits both parties if they sign a prenuptial agreement to protect their individual assets. Prenuptial agreements don’t mean that you expect a divorce to happen, merely that you acknowledge that people might change and your directions in life might head in opposite ways. However, while you can put a number of different provisions in a prenuptial agreement, sometimes some really quite wacky ones, there are some things that a prenuptial agreement can’t dictate.

There are only a small handful of items that you can’t put in your pre-nup, but they are still important to know. Clauses you can’t put in your pre-nup include:

  • Custody of Children – If you decide to have children together, your prenuptial agreement cannot dictate who gets them in the event of a divorce. Typically this must be worked out by the couple at the time with the court dictating who can provide the better home life.
  • Child Support and Visitation – Like custody, a pre-nup cannot set an amount of child support that one party must pay nor can it set visitation rights. These based on court decisions.
  • Anything That Encourages Divorce – This is an incredibly vague clause that can cover a number of things. A common example is that while you can define individual property, you cannot put in how it is split in a divorce since that is basically saying it will happen.
  • Anything That Is Illegal – If you have an underground gambling den or are the Don of a Mafia family, you should probably leave that out. Courts can’t overlook illegal activities.
  • Anything That Is Unfair – Like things that encourage divorce, anything unfair is another cover-all clause. The best example of this is alimony. While you technically can set alimony in a pre-nup, a judge can completely throw it out if it is deemed to be unfair to one side.

If you are getting married soon, a pre-nup can be an awkward thing to bring up, but it can protect both sides. To create prenuptial agreement or check that your existing one is valid, contact us today.