Drafting Thorough Marital Agreements
California has an extensive and fairly predictable legal framework for addressing parties’ marital rights and obligations, both during marriage and in the event of divorce. However, with some restrictions, parties are free to agree to a different resolution of marital rights and obligations.
In addition to marital settlement agreements generally intended to reflect settlement of marital rights and obligations incident to a divorce case, California law recognizes two basic types of agreements affecting marital rights and obligations:
Premarital Agreements executed between prospective spouses in contemplation of marriage, to be effective upon marriage.
Marital Agreements executed by husband and wife during marriage and affecting marital rights and obligations incident to an ongoing marriage.
Premarital and marital agreements usually contain provisions having to do with property rights and obligations, but subject to some limitations they can place limitations on the issue of spousal support as well.
As a matter of public policy, there are some issues which cannot be the subject of either a premarital agreement or marital agreement, the most significant one of which is children. Any agreement to limit the court’s authority to make orders for child custody, visitation or child support will be unenforceable.
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There are lengthy detailed requirements for premarital and marital agreements, and if any requirement has not been met, the agreement will almost certainly be found to be unenforceable, subjecting a party or parties to general California law, which may be far different than what was intended by the agreement.
I can prepare valid and enforceable premarital and marital agreements intended to address any issue which can properly be the subject of such agreements.
Because the mediation process does not entail court appearances, we can assist you regardless of where in California your case will actually be filed.