Pre-Nups in California: All The Basic Facts

a bride signing marriage documents

A pre-nuptial agreement is a written contract that two people enter into before they get married. Given that California law requires equal distribution of assets in the event of a divorce, a pre-nuptial agreement helps couples clarify expectations and forms a solid foundation for both parties to discuss finances and other goals before the marriage.

Every couple has different goals that they want addressed in the prenup, and the good news is that the contract can be tailored to include those details. While previously talking about a prenup was seen as setting yourself up for divorce, couples now realize that it can help enter into a marriage with a better understanding of each other’s expectations and situation.

Why Get a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

There are many reasons why people in California get prenups. Some common causes are listed below:

  1. You own a house or property that you plan to reside in after your marriage. The prenup will include information about who maintains the home, how expenses will be paid, and the rights to occupancy after divorce or death.
  2. You’ve acquired savings, property, or retirement funds before the marriage that you want to secure and maintain as separate property.
  3. You want to provide security to children from another marriage.
  4. You want to avoid litigation and dispute after possible divorce or death in the future.
  5. You want to clarify how property and wealth acquired during the marriage will be treated in the event of divorce or death.

What is California’s Take on Pre-Nuptial Agreements?

California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) is the primary statute governing pre-nuptial agreements. According to the law, it is a contract between two prospective spouses that goes into effect once the couple is lawfully wedded. It can include income, real estate, earnings, debts, financial interests, and other present or future assets.

To ensure a valid prenup, you need to have:

  • A written contract
  • Lawful terms with financial disclosure
  • Voluntary signatures from both parties
  • A notary’s signature
  • At least a week’s notice before signing to seek independent legal counsel

Consult a California Family Law Attorney

If you’re thinking about entering into a prenup with your significant other, an experienced Californiafamily law attorney can advise you on relevant laws and help you weigh the pros and cons of entering any contract. The Law Offices of Ron Marquez specializes in several aspects of family law, including asset division, child custody, pet custody, alimony, and spousal support.

Call us at 530-332-8110 to discuss your situation.


Disclaimer: This blog does not provide legal advice and is written for information purposes only. Reading the content of this blog or information contained on this site, or the transmission of information from or to this site does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


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