Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements in California
The California divorce attorneys at Nader, Naraghi & Woodcock, APLC have been drafting Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements since 1999. Our perspective is unique because, in addition to drafting these Nuptial Agreements, we have defended and attacked them in trial litigation—so we have a better understanding than most of what makes a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement enforceable.
Married couples should look to Nuptial Agreements not so much in terms of their impact in the event of a divorce, but as a guide and navigation tool for how to handle their finances throughout a successful marriage. After all, successful businesses are built on strong, clear Operating Agreements, not because of a lack of trust between partners, but rather because these agreements make it clear what has happened and what to do when things get complex.
While it may not be very romantic to liken any part of a marriage to a business, the property and debt aspects of the marital relationship can also become very complex, and marital partnerships can also benefit from the financial clarity brought about by a clear Nuptial Agreement.
The drafting stage of a Nuptial Agreement is crucial—unless you hit the technical marks, the Agreement will be ultimately unenforceable. The attorneys at Nader, Naraghi & Woodcock, APLC will make sure all of the technical legal requirements for enforceability are met.
But equally important is what the married couple does with the Agreement afterwards—Judges are human beings, and at a trial often find it difficult to enforce a document that, perhaps, was drafted 12 years before and then shelved and forgotten. After the finalization of an Agreement, it is important that the spouses comply with the terms of the Agreement and periodically revisit it.
If your Nuptial Agreement contemplates a common bank account in which all the marital monies are kept, it will harm the enforceability of your Agreement if you deviate from this practice unless you draft a simple Addendum and attach it to your Agreement.
Likewise, because a Judge will want to see that the Nuptial Agreement is a living document and you both are well aware of its effect, it is extremely helpful for couples to revisit the document, say every three years, and either makes changes, or decide not to alter it—either of these outcomes should be reflected in a brief Addendum attached to the original Agreement.
There are many easy strategies like this one to ensure that your Nuptial Agreement remains viable and relevant. Nader, Naraghi & Woodcock, APLC can not only help you ensure that your Agreement is drafted correctly, but also advise you on how to keep it effective during the course of your marriage.