Prenuptial and Post Nuptial Agreements

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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Attorneys

A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement in California has the practical effect of opting out of California law as it pertains to property division and support.


For many Santa Clara, Monterey and Sacramento couples, a prenuptial agreement is a smart choice. A prenuptial agreement can help you protect premarital assets and plan for the unexpected, as you enter your marriage relationship. The attorneys at Evans law draft and review prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Our Santa Clara, Monterey and Sacramento prenuptial and postnuptial attorneys have also litigated the validity of a prenuptial agreement in a divorce for clients seeking to contest or uphold the existing agreement between the parties.


Prenuptial agreements are often considered by individuals who own businesses, real estate, stock and stock options, or other valuable assets, prior to marriage, and parties who are getting married for a second time and want to preserve their estate for their children or just to ensure that assets are not the source of friction creating a contested divorce situation. A prenuptial agreement must be substantially fair and executed in a procedurally fair manner. There are statutory formalities that need to be followed or the agreement may be declared voidable or unenforceable.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people about to wed that spells out how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. Such agreements can vary widely, but commonly the content includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage. Conditions of guardianship may also be included.


Legal requirements in California include the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), which has applied to California prenups since 1986. In general, this law states that written prenuptial agreements signed by both parties will automatically become effective once the couple marries. An agreement can cover a couple’s present and future property rights, as well as other matters related to the marriage, but it cannot negatively affect a child’s right to child support, or take away a court’s power to control child custody and visitation after marriage.

A postnuptial agreement is much like a prenuptial agreement, however it is a contract that is written after a couple gets married, or have a civil union. It is executed to settle the couple’s affairs and assets in the event of a legal separation or divorce.


Postnuptial agreements must be negotiated and drafted with guidance and care. Under California law married couples have the highest level of fiduciary duty to each other, so that in financial dealings each must act toward the other as a trustee would toward a beneficiary. Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement must be voluntary, signed by both spouses, and cannot contain anything criminal or anything that affects public policy.


At Evans Law, our postnuptial attorneys in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Sacramento pay close attention to the goals, needs, and circumstances of each our clients when drafting, negotiating and litigating these vital agreements. In some cases of Santa Clara or Sacramento postnuptial agreements, involve spouses who may be going through marital problems, but would be willing to try to work it out if they felt that their assets were protected. If both sides can agree, a postnuptial agreement is an excellent way to preserve the marriage while still recognizing these individual interests.

To be valid and enforceable, every prenuptial or postnuptial agreement must meet the following criteria:

  • Be in writing;
  • Fully disclose the assets and debts of each party;
  • Be fair when entered into;
  • Have notarized signatures; and
  • Not be against public policy (e.g., a party cannot agree to give up child support).

Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements are very complex and must be carefully drafted by a skilled family law attorney who is familiar with California law. The Santa Clara family attorneys at Evans Law are knowledgeable and understand how prior agreements have been challenged in court. They will draft the agreements carefully so that the language is specific in order to protect the individual from future loss. Contact a Monterey County prenuptial and postnuptial agreements lawyer from Evans Law today at 408 298-8910 or 831-998-8144 or (916) 995-2750 if you need a high quality attorney to draft a pre or postnuptial agreement of any type.

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We serve clients throughout Northern California. To schedule a free consultation with bankruptcy or family law lawyer at our firm, call (408) 298-8910 or (831) 998-8144 or (916) 995-2750 contact us by email. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.

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