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Premarital Agreements and Agreements During Marriage

California law permits people who are contemplating marriage to enter into contracts commonly known as Premarital or Prenuptial Agreements to eliminate or modify the community property rights which would otherwise govern the rights of the parties upon a dissolution of their marriage. California law also permits the parties to such an Agreement, subject to specified conditions, to limit or even waive entirely the right of either party to the Agreement to seek spousal support from the other should the marriage terminate at some date in the future.  Premarital agreements permit the parties to include provisions both parties believe to be fair in lieu of leaving the property and support issues unresolved and undefined should either one of the parties wish to dissolve the marriage at some time in the future. Parties are not permitted to resolve custody or child support issues in such an agreement as such provisions would violate the strong public policy of the State of California in protecting children and their right to support.  Carefully drafted Premarital agreements can assist the parties in defining the rights of the parties should the marriage dissolve and save substantial attorneys fees, accounting fees, appraisal fees, and costs which may otherwise be incurred in the absence of such an agreement. It is also possible for married couples to enter into contracts during marriage, often referred to as Postnuptial agreements, in order to change the ownership of assets acquired during marriage before and after the date of the contract and to also include provisions regarding spousal support to either party should either of the parties decide to dissolve the marriage at some date in the future.

 
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