Just as there are many reasons why a couple may choose to enter into a premarital agreement, the issues they cover can vary significantly. California law has relatively few limitations for these contracts, as long as they do not affect the right of a child to child support or violate public policy or statutes that impose criminal penalties.
Couples who decide to enter into a premarital agreement (also known as a prenuptial agreement) need to carefully review their personal circumstances to develop a contract that protects them and children from prior marriages from undue financial harm. According to the California Family Code, premarital agreements can address issues such as the following:
The rights and obligations pertaining to property
The disposition of property upon separation, divorce, death, or other circumstances
A will, trust, or other arrangement that carries out the provisions of the agreement
Ownership rights and disposition of life insurance death benefits
To ensure that no issues prevent the enforcement of a premarital agreement, both parties must execute the contract voluntarily, subject to full disclosure of each party’s property and financial obligations. Additionally, both parties should have their own individual representation by an experienced California family law attorney who makes sure their rights are fully protected prior to signing the agreement. In fact, a lack of legal support at the time of contract execution can be enough to negate the enforcement of spousal support.
Overall, there are many reasons for executing premarital agreements, but you should not think of them as plans for divorce even before you are married. Still, it is important for each party to retain skilled legal assistance before signing any documents.