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Prenuptial Agreements

Fresno Family Law Attorney Drafts Reliable Prenuptial Agreements

Personalized assistance to address your concerns and protect your rights

Prenuptial agreements were once derided as unromantic and even coldly calculated, but these legal documents have become more of the norm for engaged couples, especially those who are entering the marriage with considerable personal assets. At Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation, we provide highly personal and responsive representation for clients contemplating marriage. We help you protect your wealth with valid premarital agreements that can stand up to court scrutiny. When you need reliable legal protection of your wealth in anticipation of marriage, you can trust our firm to negotiate and draft an agreement that achieves your goals.

Common reasons to enter into a premarital agreement

California community property law declares that partners in a marriage have an equal right to share in the marital estate in the event of divorce.  So, individuals who have some means may hesitate to simply toss their assets into the marital estate, if by doing so they’d risk 50 percent of their wealth.  This concern is greater for individuals who:

  • Are getting married later in life
  • Have already been through a divorce
  • Have substantially more wealth than their intended spouse
  • Have children from a first marriage and want to protect their inheritance
  • Couples who have lived together prior to marriage who want to resolve financial issues to start their marriage fresh

However, prenuptial agreements have become so standard these days that more younger couples are choosing to draft these contracts.

What does a prenuptial agreement cover?

There are many standard issues a prenuptial agreement covers, including:

  • Designating separate property not subject to division with the marital estate
  • Settling any debts owed by one to the other from time spent dating or cohabiting
  • Deciding how marital property is to be divided
  • Deciding how various types of marital debt is to be divided
  • Determining how gifts and inheritances will be managed
  • Agreeing on terms for alimony

Parties cannot include terms that would limit the amount of child support their children receive, because family law dictates this is a right of the child, not the spouses.

What makes a prenuptial agreement valid in California?

In response to the demand for prenuptial agreements, California adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act of 1986. The UPAA mandates that prenups conform to basic contract requirements, such as these:

  • Each party must have independent legal counsel or waive the right to counsel before signing.
  • If a party is not proficient in English, the agreement must be translated into that party’s native language.
  • The agreement cannot be “unconscionable,” meaning it cannot be the product of seriously unequal bargaining power that unreasonably favors one party.
  • Each party must fully disclose financial information to the other.
  • Each party must wait a minimum of seven days after receiving the contract before signing it.

The law is concerned with eliminating any taint of undue influence or coercion, so the agreement is truly voluntary, as any contract should be. For this reason, it’s best to begin discussion well in advance of the wedding date. When you are ready to begin, we are here to help with your prenuptial agreement.

For a consultation on prenuptial agreements, contact our Fresno family law firm

Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation provides reliable advice for engaged clients who want to protect their rights with a prenuptial agreement. Please call 559-432-9944 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our firm’s main office is in Fresno, but we also assist clients from locations in Paso Robles and Visalia.

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