Many couples in California planning for marriage have established careers and significant assets. It is increasingly common for both partners to enter their married life with property and even businesses of their own. With investment funds, medical or legal practices or even family inheritances to be considered, many people are heading into marriage with concerns about protecting their future.
Starting a marriage is a happy time, and creating a prenuptial agreement can be a complicated legal process. There are a few requirements that courts require in order to consider such an agreement valid. For example, the agreement must be in writing and both parties must fully disclose all of their financial assets and liabilities. A prenuptial agreement signed in the absence of full disclosure would be considered invalid.
It can be important to have in one place all of the statements of each partner's liabilities as well as financial documentation of assets, including tax returns, bank statements, annuity and insurance information, retirement accounts and investment plans. These documents can be attached as a schedule to the completed agreement.
In addition, both parties are generally required to be represented by separate family law attorneys, in order to ensure that the interests of each party are protected. This doesn't have to be an adversarial process, however. Mediation and collaborative law can be two excellent ways to handle the creation of a prenuptial agreement that views both parties as partners on the same team working together to reach common goals.
Because the law related to prenuptial agreements varies from state to state, having a family law attorney who is experienced in local law is one of the most important aspects in developing a successful prenuptial agreement. Using a mediation-based approach can help to ensure this process brings couples together rather than viewing them as adversaries.