"If you're considering getting married and if you have assets of any significance, or if you think you might develop assets of any significance during the marriage that you would rather not share with your spouse, you might need or want a prenup, that is a premarital agreement somethings called a prenuptial agreement. It is just a contract between you and the person that you're going to marry that says who gets what in the event of the marriage unraveling. These are very hypertechnical documents, these are not the kinds of things that can be drafted by people who have no experience doing it. This is not the kind of thing you can punch up on the internet and fill in the blanks. California in general, wherever you live, Ventura County, Los Angeles County, no matter where you live, California has a very It is not for the faint of heart. Drafting a prenuptial agreement is like handling nitroglycerin, it can in fact blow up in your face when you need it the most. This is not the situation where you want to just write something down on the back of an envelope and get the person you are going to marry to sign. This is your estate, your assets, your things, your money. You want to protect it. It is going to change over time and you do not want any of the complicated laws of the California family code to impact your rights and your responsibilities with respect to your money and your estate.
The purpose of a premarital agreement can be phrased in many many ways and can be justified in many many ways, but the truth of the matter it is a very effective device for financial planning for the future. And as I said, you really need to see an experienced attorney, one who knows how to draft a premarital agreement, one that knows how to defend a premarital agreement. And if you have signed a premarital agreement that is operating against you in the context of your divorce, you want to find an attorney who knows how to attack a premarital agreement and try to get it set aside. If you are wondering if you can sit down with your soon-to-be spouse and just write out a premarital agreement on a piece of paper and whether that would be valid. The short answer is, maybe. It is a very very technical area of the law, there are a lot of requirements, procedural requirements. In certain instances, lawyers have to be involved with certain kinds of agreements. Postnuptial agreements, for example, agreements that married people enter into that basically work the same way as premarital agreements. That said, if you and your spouse sit down and write down the revisions of a contract down on a piece of paper and you both sign it, you've got a contract. Whether or not it will actually meet all the very hypertechnical criteria and requirements of an enforceable and valid premarital agreement is something that can really only be decided on a case-by-case basis. This is one of those areas of the law, where you really should not try to navigate those waters without an experienced premarital agreement family law attorney working with you and advising you."
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