While postnuptial agreements are valid in California, there are a few things you should be aware of to ensure that the agreement you and your spouse come to will be effective.
5 Things to Be Aware Of:
1. You Have a Fiduciary Duty to Your Spouse – you must always act in your spouse’s highest and best interests. Your postnup agreement must reflect this, or else it might be overturned later. Additionally, you must disclose all assets and debts as a sign of god faith and fairness.
2. The Postnup Agreement Must be in Writing – most legal agreements need to be in writing and properly drafted and executed in order for it to be enforceable by law. Now is the time to agree to how you will allocate things. Verbal promises are almost impossible to prove, so getting it on paper will ensure both parties remember what was agreed to.
3. Get Separate Lawyers – this will ensure both spouses receive good legal advice as well as fully understand what they are giving up by signing the postnuptial agreement. Having separate legal advice will also increase the likelihood that the postnuptial agreement will be enforceable down the road.
4. Take Your Time – postnuptial agreements do not take months to negotiate, consider, understand, and execute, but it should not be rushed. Rushing the process may lead to making bad decisions, or drafting an incomplete agreement that can be overturned later. A waiting period allows both spouses time to fully understand what they are signing.
5. Understand the Agreement You’re Signing– understand what you’re signing to ensure the success of your both your marriage and your postnuptial agreement. You should have a firm understanding of: California Community Property Law, California Alimony Law, your spouse’s assets and debts, and what your agreement means.