Prenuptials + Post-Marriage Agreements
A premarital agreement is an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective on marriage. A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.
A prenuptial agreement can cover a number of assets and items to maintain as your separate property, including:
1. The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located, including:
Future Earnings On Assets
Existing or Future Businesses
Existing or Future Debts
Existing or Future Assets
Pensions, Retirement Accounts, IRAs, 401ks
2. The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property.
3. The disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.
4. The modification or elimination of spousal support.
5. The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement.
6. The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy.
7. The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.
8. Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
In order to be valid, there are certain statements and language that must be included, including completing a Financial Disclosure Form. You'll want an attorney to draft your Pre-Nuptial Agreement to ensure that it has these validating statements. In fact, if the parties agreed in the Pre-Nuptial Agreement to waive their rights to each others' retirement benefits or if the parties agreed that income from separate property will be separate property, another legal document - a Property Agreement Between Spouses must also be completed.
You can also change the character of property WHILE you're married too. You can change separate property into community property as well as change community property into separate property. These two documents are called: An Agreement To Convert Separate Property to Community Property and a Partition/Exchange Agreement, respectively.
Again, these legal documents come with specific legally required language and statements that must be contained within them to make the document legally binding and valid. Contact our office today to speak with an attorney about what your property options are.