Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal SpecializationServing your Community for 19 Years
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Prenups for protecting property interests

A premarital agreement, as defined in the California Family Code, is a contract made before marriage by the persons who plan to marry. These “prospective spouses” are parties to the contract and as soon as they marry, their agreement becomes effective. A prenuptial agreement is another name for a premarital agreement and in California it must be written and signed by the future spouses.

The subject matter of a premarital agreement can include the property of the parties, provisions regarding life insurance, the future disposition of property and generally any matters that concern the duties and privileges of the parties. The parties, however, are not permitted to contract in a way that would violate public policy or a criminal statute.

Some prenuptial agreements are not enforceable but the party who wants to avoid the contract provisions has to prove whether the contract is unenforceable under California law. A premarital agreement is unenforceable if a party entered into it under duress, coercion, or force, or otherwise involuntarily. Likewise, if an agreement is unconscionable it cannot be enforced.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), reported by the Huffpost, more than half of the attorneys surveyed have seen an increase in persons requesting prenuptial agreements. As fonus by the AAML, millennials are requesting these types of contracts in greater numbers and so are women.  The primary reasons listed for entering into premarital agreements were considerations related to alimony and spousal support, an interest in keeping nonmarital property separate and concerns about decisions about deciding on proper equitable distribution in the future.

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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