Family Law – Prenuptial, Postnuptial, and Marital Settlement Agreements
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are written agreements between two people who are about to marry. The prenuptial agreement defines the terms of joint property and/or separate property to the marriage including the ownership of assets and debts, the treatment of future earnings, the control of the separate property of each party, debts, and the potential division of the assets and debts if the marriage is later dissolved. A prenuptial agreement must be designed to protect both spouses and voluntarily signed by both parties. Although it isn’t the topic of a prenuptial agreement isn’t the most romantic, it is better to negotiate property settlement while you’re in love rather than while going through the emotional roller coaster of a divorce.
Marital Agreements are prepared after the parties have already married but before they have separated. On occasions, parties may receive inheritances or may be utilizing their separate property for joint property purposes. Parties enter into marital agreements in order to set forth in writing the understanding and agreements of the parties with respect to separate property or even joint property interests after the parties have married. These agreements may also act as a preliminary division of community property to be implemented during the marriage but before the parties actually decide to separate or proceed towards divorce.
Both Pre-nuptial Agreements and Post-nuptial Agreements require that each party provide full disclosure to the other party of all of the joint and separate property assets and liabilities which they are aware of or that can be reasonably determined through investigation. Both parties should be represented by independent legal counsel. An agreement wherein one party is represented by counsel and the other is not may be voidable and unenforceable.
Marital Settlement Agreements
Marital settlement agreements (also known as property settlement agreements) are a well established and favored method of alternative dispute resolution.
The main advantage of the martial settlement agreement is that it avoids the cost of litigation and can be far more detailed than a judgment. The agreement can set forth specific provisions that set forth formulas for modification of child and spousal support, custody arrangements, insurance, and taxes. Couples can use a marital settlement agreement to help protect an unemployed spouse’s rights to medical insurance coverage until the uninsured spouse obtains coverage. Either party can then incorporate the settlement agreement in a judgment of dissolution.
Our firm is skilled in preparing these types of agreements. We would be happy to consult with you regarding the preparation of any of these documents.
Please contact us at 503-608-0207 to inquire how we may serve your Family Law needs.