If you are considering entering into an agreement after the marriage to separate your assets and debts, contact experienced California postnuptial agreement attorney Alan Mikshansky today for professional legal advice.
A postnuptial agreement is a contract signed after marriage to define the legal rights in an established relationship. It describes how income, assets, and liabilities are dealt with in the event of a separation and how spousal support obligations, property division, and other concerns are to be addressed. A postnuptial agreement ensures that in case of separation the spouses avoid the complexities of dividing their assets and liabilities as they are in control and the laws have no effects on their choices and decisions.
Without this type of agreement, the family code of law in California will control what happens to your assets in the event of a divorce. A postnuptial agreement lets you set out your expectations in writing and create a plan that suits your needs.
Even when spouses do not anticipate divorce, they may wish to enter a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement can be a valuable way of defining legal rights in an established relationship. Sacramento postnuptial agreement attorney Alan Mikshansky can help you with the process of negotiating and preparing this type of agreement.
The Law Office of Alan Mikshansky will help you:
- understand the need to and how a postnuptial agreement works
- avoid falling into the limitations of such a contract
- navigate the strict specificities of a transmutation agreement
- draft and finalize an incontestable agreement
How a Postnuptial Agreement Works
California couples are likely familiar with prenuptial agreements, or agreements entered into before the marriage. A postnuptial agreement works similarly, only it takes place after the wedding vows.
Postnuptial agreements differ from prenuptial agreements in one important way. Because you and your spouse are married, you are held to certain fiduciary and confidentiality responsibilities. Each of you has the “duty of highest good faith and fair dealing.” In other words, neither spouse can take unfair advantage of the other. And unlike during the prenuptial agreement process, during the preparation of a postnuptial agreement, spouses have the obligation of disclosing all assets, business dealings, and debts. This means:
- Both spouses provide the other with full disclosure of the issues in the agreement.
- If the agreement is challenged at a later date, the spouse defending the agreement has a greater burden of proof that the agreement is fair.
Because of these factors, postnuptial agreements are more difficult to enforce than prenuptial agreements. Even if the above factors are met, someone who signed a postnuptial agreement may challenge it, claiming that he/she was coerced into signing it upon threat of divorce. Courts take these accusations seriously.
One common example of a postnuptial agreement is a “transmutation.” In a transmutation document, the spouses agree to change the character of a property from community to separate or separate to community.
For instance, if a husband owned a house before marriage, this property is generally considered separate from the marriage. After he and his spouse marry, he may want to make the house a community asset, that is, owned jointly by him and the spouse. This is called a transmutation agreement.
While a transmutation agreement can be a useful means for transferring property, there are very specific and rigid obligations surrounding them. If they are not met, a court may set the agreement aside.
California Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
Because of the specificity required in postnuptial agreements and because of the opportunity for challenges at a later date, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable Sacramento postnuptial agreement attorney to help you and your spouse in creating the document. The Law Offices of Alan Mikshansky can guide you through the process, counsel you as to issues you should anticipate and avoid, and help you to establish a more effective contract.
The Law Office of Alan Mikshansky is certified in Family Law by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization.