Do You Need A Prenup in Los Angeles?

Updated: Apr 21

The Legal Implications Of Prenuptial Agreements In California


You will need to plan for and protect your properties depending on your circumstances and those of your husband or soon-to-be spouse. It's also necessary to do so before getting married in order to avoid future messes and worry. To ensure that your finances are in order and your assets are protected, you'll need a well-written and detailed prenuptial agreement.

california affordable family law attorney near me

Prenuptial agreements are sometimes misunderstood as a precursor to divorce. In reality, this arrangement just aims to maintain the best interests of both parties separate in the event of a divorce. As a result, a couple considering drafting a prenuptial agreement may want to obtain legal counsel first. This ensures that all rules are obeyed and that the document is not rendered null and void due to any infractions.

Each potential spouse should have their own lawyer. Your Family Law Attorney will provide advice to the spouses on the following topics:

  • What should be included in the package?

  • What procedures are you doing to notify the contract?

  • How to avoid the contract being canceled

To negotiate a prenuptial agreement, the couple may not need to be wealthy or have significant assets. The contract aims to address the needs of both spouses by creating a solid foundation for their future. The contract would spell out the couple's rights and responsibilities if their marriage ended in divorce.

How Does A Prenuptial Agreement Work?


A prenuptial agreement (sometimes known as a prenup) is a legally binding document that spells out how a couple's debts and assets will be split in the event of a divorce. The prenuptial agreement covers any assets or property brought into the marriage as well as assets acquired after the marriage. Separating this property without a prenuptial agreement could be a lengthy and arduous process.

Anything associated with child custody or child support is something that a couple cannot include in a prenuptial agreement. In California, decisions on custody and child support are made with the children's best interests in mind. This means that a couple will not be able to agree on child custody or child support amounts for their existing or future children. It does, however, have special clauses that allow for additional payments, such as paying a child's college tuition or assisting an adult child.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that specifies how assets will be split in the event of a divorce or death. The scope of these contracts varies. However, they typically include the following:

  • Land division provisions

  • Asset and debt division

If the couple is unable to agree on how to divide their marital property and debt (which includes all assets and liabilities accumulated during the marriage), the subject will be decided by a court. Among other assets, this could include the marital home, cash, work benefits, retirement accounts, stocks, vehicles, and insurance.

What's Being Considered in the Division of Marital Property?

If a divorced couple cannot agree on a final property or debt distribution, the judge will make a decision based on the following considerations:

  • Each spouse's ability to make money

  • The health of each partner is important

  • The general health of each party

  • The expense of acquiring marital property for each side

  • The total amount each group contributes to the earning power and education of the other

  • The value of each party's own assets

  • The probable financial needs of each side

  • Before a couple marries, they make premarital arrangements

Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.


best family law attorney los angeles

Separate Property vs. Marital Property

It's important to distinguish between independent and marital property. Prior to marriage, any property received as a gift or through inheritance is considered separate property. Marital property refers to any wealth acquired through pooled funds during the course of a marriage. During the divorce procedure, marital property must be divided. Separate property is also divided in some circumstances, if applicable.


Of course, property and debt splitting can be problematic, especially if one or both partners had accrued large debt or assets previous to or during the marriage. As a result, anyone contemplating divorce should seek legal advice as soon as feasible. If this isn't done, one or both partners will be in financial trouble for the rest of their life.

Provisions for spousal support

Alimony, often known as spousal support, is a type of financial support that might be temporary or permanent. Spousal aid is given to help the petitioning spouse maintain the marital level of life or return to work so that they can become self-sufficient.

How Does Temporary Spousal Support Work?

Temporary spousal support is spousal support ordered while the dissolution proceedings are pending and before a Final Judgment of Dissolution. This is used to maintain the status quo of the marriage and is not reliant on the length of the marriage. The Court has a lot of leeway when it comes to spousal care.

Permanent Spousal Support: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Following a final Judgment of Dissolution, permanent spousal support is a spousal support order based on the marital standard of living and the length of the marriage. Our prescreened Family Law Attorneys will explain how the courts make this decision based on the entire marriage's conditions. Permanent spousal support is less predictable than interim spousal support because it is left to the discretion of the court.

What is the formula for spousal support calculation?

Spousal support is influenced by the following factors:

  • The duration of your partnership

  • The petitioning partner's contribution to the matrimony

  • They are both of the same generations

  • The financial conditions of both partners

Is your ex-spouse not paying spousal support anymore? If this is the case, you can ask the court to hold them in contempt of court so that the spousal support order can be enforced. Their wages will be garnished, and they may face contempt of court fines if they continue to refuse to pay.

Are you unable to pay spousal support as mandated by the court? In this case, request a modification of your support order as soon as possible before your ex attempts to impose spousal support.

What Is The Purpose Of A Prenuptial Agreement?


Obtaining a prenuptial agreement can be useful in a variety of scenarios, even if no one wants to get divorced. A prenuptial agreement may be beneficial for a variety of reasons, including:

  • If you've been married before

  • You and your partner are both parents (of different children)

  • A large wealth disparity exists

  • They are both small company proprietors

If you find yourself in one of these situations, you will want to safeguard yourself, your belongings, and your objectives in the event of a divorce. If one or both of you have previously been married, you may have assets that you have brought into your present relationship, such as property. If one or both of you had children from a prior relationship, you'd want to maintain child support separately. A prenuptial agreement can also be used to protect your children's inheritance if you pass away.

If the couple's income is significantly different, another reason to sign a prenup is if the couple's income is significantly different. If one spouse is substantially wealthier than the other, they will want to keep their current and future earnings if they divorce. This is also true if one of the partners has a lot of debt. Without a prenuptial agreement, the debt-free spouse may be held liable for the debts of their partner. Finally, if one of the spouses does not work, the couple can agree that the working spouse will financially support the non-working spouse.

Finally, if one of the parties has a small business, a prenuptial agreement will protect it. If you have outside investments, a commercial partnership, a family business, or a firm that relies on your image, this is especially vital. A divorcing couple without a prenuptial agreement will be forced to split their businesses in an unfavorable fashion for the company.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Prenuptial Agreements?

There are a few standards that must be completed in order for a prenup to be lawful in California. Because both parties have diverse assets and may desire to safeguard separate interests, each partner should hire a Los Angeles Prenup Lawyer to represent them while establishing a prenuptial agreement. Any prenuptial agreements that the couple gets into becoming effective until they marry after the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA) were brought into law in 1986. According to a 2002 modification to the UPAA, a prenuptial agreement is only legally binding if certain conditions are met before it is signed.

When it comes to safeguarding the legitimacy of your prenuptial agreement, there are a few things to keep in mind. Remember that prenuptial agreements are governed by contract law; therefore, keep these three items in mind:

  • A prenuptial agreement is only binding if independent legal counsel represents both parties unless one party waives their right to independent legal counsel.

  • The agreement must be translated into a language that the other party understands if one party does not speak or comprehend English.

  • According to contract law, an agreement is void if the parties have unequal negotiating power or if one party gains unfairly.

In addition to contract law restrictions, there are a number of prenuptial agreement clauses that must be included in order for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable. Both partners need to be aware of each other's financial and real estate holdings. Furthermore, both parties must sign the agreement within 7 days after receiving the completed agreement.

This clause is meant to provide enough time for each party's Los Angeles Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer to review the contract. Each person must be fully informed of both sections of the agreement, including any terms and conditions. Finally, if one party waives their right to independent counsel, that party must sign a declaration acknowledging that they are aware of the consequences of their decision.

What Is Involved in a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement can cover a lot of ground. It is possible to waive or amend a person's right to spousal support. Even if all of the aforementioned conditions are met, the courts may not enforce a spouse's entitlement to forgo support. This could be due to a multitude of causes, but the Act specifically specifies that the prenuptial agreement will not be enforced if it is unconscionable. Since the statute just says "unconscionable," there are varying levels of compliance. Some of the criteria considered during enforcement are education level, property ownership, monetary or financial freedom, and other characteristics.

You can also change how each item is divided. The two types of property that can be divided are community and independent property. Separate property is defined as any property brought into the marriage by one person or expressly owned by that one person. On the other hand, any property or income acquired during the marriage is considered common property. A prenuptial agreement can also be used to form business ownership agreements, as previously stated.

Some inheritance rights may be included in a prenuptial agreement. If one of the couples had previous children, this might be important to ensure that their children receive whatever inheritance they were entitled to before the marriage.

What kinds of things can't be included in a prenuptial agreement?

Keep in mind that no part of the prenuptial agreement should be detrimental to any young children. The court will always uphold a kid's rights and make decisions that are in the best interests of the child. In California, you are not compelled to consider any defects while awarding agreements. This ensures that a person who is disloyal during a marriage or whose activities result in a divorce is not punished. Finally, no prenuptial agreement provision may contravene or contradict any law or regulation.

Each piece of community property has its own set of rules. California is noted for being a "community property" state. Without a prenuptial agreement, each spouse's property acquired or shared prior to the marriage will revert to that spouse, and property acquired or shared after the marriage will be divided equally. A prenuptial agreement requires partners to treat separate assets as community assets or community assets as separate assets under the terms of the agreement. Prenuptial agreements also allow you the option of surrendering or altering your inheritance rights if they won't harm your minor children.


A prenuptial agreement is beneficial for a variety of reasons. In the event of a divorce, it will aid each spouse in protecting key assets. It also encourages couples to get together and decide on suitable disposal of their assets in a comfortable manner. Because many of the difficult financial decisions that come with a divorce are made ahead of time, prenuptial agreements make the divorce process considerably smoother.

When It Comes to Taxes

Most couples begin filing joint tax returns after they marry. There are occasions, though, when it is more practical for a couple to file their taxes separately. The IRS has the ability to confiscate any refund owed to the non-indebted spouse if you file your tax ret