Providing peaceful resolutions Paving paths to a fresh start
Call for your consultation

Campbell Postnuptial Agreements Lawyers Helping Spouses Protect Their Assets

Many couples make prenuptial agreements before they get married, as they want to secure their financial future in case of divorce. If you’re already married and want to do the same, it’s not too late. Whether you’ve been married for a year or a decade, there’s still time to protect your financial interests in case you and your spouse divorce. Instead of a prenuptial agreement, you can create a postnuptial agreement with the help of our skilled attorneys.

At Hepner & Pagan, LLP, we have drafted prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for many California spouses over the years. We know which details to include and which to exclude to keep the document fair and enforceable according to California law, so we encourage you to contact our law firm today to talk to our postnuptial agreement attorneys.

What Are the Differences Between a Postnuptial and Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are both meant to help married couples protect their assets if they ever get divorced. The main difference between the two types of legal documents is that you draft a prenuptial agreement before you get married, while you create a postnuptial agreement after you’re married.

While some couples opt for a postnuptial agreement simply because they didn’t get a chance to sign a prenuptial agreement before their wedding day, others decide to draft this document due to a specific event. For example, if one spouse gets an inheritance or opens a business, a postnuptial agreement can specify how these assets will be handled in case of divorce. Planning ahead can help avoid costly legal battles in case you and your spouse divorce.

While prenuptial and postnuptial agreements include similar details, such as how to handle assets and debts, there is one notable difference. Prenuptial agreements only discuss dividing separate property since the couple doesn’t have marital assets yet. By contrast, postnuptial agreements also address assets gained during the marriage, as they’re typically considered community property.

Another difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is enforceability. Judges tend to scrutinize postnuptial agreements more than prenuptial agreements because there is more potential for abuse when one party has more power in the relationship than the other. For instance, when one spouse makes a lot more money than the other spouse, they might try to safeguard it by drafting a postnuptial agreement in which they get to keep a significant amount of that money. This is why a judge will ensure a postnuptial agreement is fair before signing or enforcing it. It’s also why you need to hire Campbell postnuptial agreement attorneys to help draft this document.

What Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cover?

Much like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement determines how a married couple will divide assets and debts in the event of divorce. You, your spouse, and your attorneys will decide together what this document needs to address, but most postnuptial agreements discuss:

  • Which assets are separate properties and how do divide them
  • Which assets are community property, and how to divide them
  • How to distribute death benefits
  • Who gets which debts in the event of divorce
  • How to split business assets
  • Who gets spousal support after divorce

In short, it’s essential to list all assets, whether they qualify as separate or community property, so you know how to manage them if your marriage ends. This is especially recommended if one spouse owns a business since California is a community property state. This means business ownership and income will be shared between both spouses unless otherwise specified in the postnuptial agreement.

As you might imagine, this type of legal document can get complicated, especially if you need help understanding California law like experienced postnuptial agreements lawyers do. It can be difficult to determine what details to include in this agreement, and it can sometimes be confusing how to use it to protect your financial future in a community property state. As such, we urge you to contact us for legal guidance if you and your spouse want to draw up an agreement focused on asset protection.

How Can You Create an Enforceable Agreement?

Now that you know what details to include in your postnuptial agreement, you should also learn what not to discuss in it. After all, certain requests are not enforceable in postnuptial agreements.

First, it’s important to know that all terms must be fair to both parties in the marriage. So, if you request to keep your separate assets and most of the community property while taking on none of your spouse’s debt, a judge likely won’t agree to this. Your property division plans must be fair, so keep this in mind when deciding which debt and property you and your spouse take on.

Similarly, a judge won’t agree to let you waive spousal support if you make a lot more money than your spouse. If any statements in the document would leave one spouse much more in debt than the other or unable to afford necessities, a judge won’t agree to it.

Another detail is that effective postnuptial agreements can’t mention information about child custody or child support. These family law matters that pertain to children have to be worked out during the divorce proceedings, not in a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement.

If your agreement seems grossly unfair to one party or includes information on handling family law issues regarding the children, you must modify it before a judge signs it. Even if a judge ends up signing it despite its flaws, they likely won’t enforce the contract in court in the future. If you want to ensure that the agreement you draft is not only in your best interests but also enforceable, hire a family law attorney to help. Contact our Campbell law firm for a consultation today.

How Can a Postnuptial Agreements Attorney in Campbell Help?

At Hepner & Pagan, LLP, we have experience drafting and reviewing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for spouses throughout Santa Clara County. We want to make sure the contract is in your best interests and meets all the standards concerning public policy in California so that you don’t have to spend time adjusting it in the event that your marriage ends in the future. If you want to ensure your agreement is done right the first time, hire a caring family law attorney from our firm.

If you’ve already started drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and need us to ensure it’s fair to both parties, we can help. We can also assist you if you haven’t started the agreement and need our legal guidance to decide how to divide property and debts. No matter where you are in the process of planning a better future, we’d be happy to help. Whether our clients need us to review prenuptial or postnuptial agreements or answer questions about other family law matters, we’re here to provide legal support. Call us today at 408-688-9153 to schedule a consultation with a skilled attorney.