Is a Postnuptial Agreement the Same as a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you’re planning to get married, you may be hesitant to create a prenuptial agreement between you and your future spouse. Some couples worry that they’ll kill some of the romance of getting married by planning for the demise of the marriage before it starts. Perhaps you’ve heard of post-nuptial agreements and assumed that they can do the job of a prenuptial agreement without needing to be signed before you’re married.

While postnuptial agreements can be useful tools for married couples, it’s important to understand what they can and cannot do, and whether they’re a good substitute for a prenuptial agreement. Read on to learn more, and contact a California postnuptial agreement attorney with any questions you may have.

How do prenuptial and postnuptial agreements compare?

As is clear from the name, prenuptial agreements are entered into before a couple is married, and postnuptial agreements are signed after the marriage has occurred—whether the marriage occurred a week or ten years ago. The two types of agreements are similar in many ways. Both pre- and postnuptial agreements can dictate how, for example, spousal support or property is allocated after a divorce. However, California courts make an important distinction when deciding whether to enforce prenuptial and postnuptial agreements: prenuptial agreements are presumed to be valid, and postnuptial agreements are presumed to be invalid. This means that the spouse attempting to enforce a postnuptial agreement will have to work harder to prove that the agreement was entered willingly and is not extremely unfair to the other spouse.

When do married couples enter postnuptial agreements?

Some couples who create postnuptial agreements had intended to sign a prenuptial agreement but simply ran out of time to create one amidst the chaos of planning a wedding. In other cases, one spouse establishes  a business during the marriage that becomes highly successful, creating a need for an agreement that shields the business from being divided in a divorce. Other spouses choose to create a postnuptial agreement when the marriage encounters speedbumps, as a way of creating peace-of-mind that, even if spouses wish to continue working on the marriage for now, a divorce in the future would not be a drawn-out courtroom battle.

Postnuptial agreements must conform with rigid requirements

In order to be valid, postnuptial agreements must be in writing, signed by both spouses, and entered into voluntarily. Additionally, issues relating to child support or child custody cannot be included in the agreement if it is to be considered valid. An experienced Los Angeles family law attorney can help you create a postnuptial agreement that can stand up to a courtroom challenge.

If you’re in need of skilled and attentive legal help with a California family law issue, such as the creation of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact the Los Angeles family law attorneys at Lavinsky Law for a free consultation at 310-274-2717.

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