Making a mistake on your prenup paperwork could invalidate the document during legal proceedings. California has strict laws that guide the rights and obligations of a prenup contract.
In addition to leaving out certain elements, there are several items to consider when arranging for a premarital agreement.
California requires that a prenup contain the voluntary signatures of both parties. Prior to constructing the document, each party must provide the other with full disclosure of their financial obligations and assets or property. The following provisions are allowable under California law:
- Assets and debts
- Spousal support
- Management rights for property
- Disposal of property
It is important to include specific language for rights and obligations for property owned prior to the marriage and those acquired during the marriage. Properties involve earnings, debts, income, financial interests, real estate holdings, investments and more.
There are some inclusions that are not common to the average couple. One spouse could include provisions for child support received prior to the marriage or inheritance allocations for children from a previous marriage.
There are several things that you cannot use a prenup to protect. Most importantly, there are no provisions for child support for children had during the marriage. Since children are not personal property, there are no negotiation options in a prenup for their care. California family court determines appropriate custody arrangements and support in the child’s best interest.
Prenups are an essential part of protecting your financial situation should your marriage end in divorce. A careful inventory of your property and assets can help you make specific inclusions in the document.