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Although parties enter a marriage never contemplating divorce, there is a financial and business aspect to a relationship that can be addressed prior to a break up. Some people think a prenuptial agreements (“prenups”) or postnuptial agreements (“postnups”) will “jinx” the marriage; others believe it is simply a way to protect themselves “just in case.”
Despite one’s view on prenups and postnups, this option should at least be explored. These agreements can be used to determine the aspects of a case should a divorce or legal separation ever occur. Prenups are signed prior to marriage and postnups are created after the parties are already married. Both can determine many aspects of a divorce, including spousal support and division of assets and debts.
Given that both prenups and postnups are contracts for all intents and purposes, contract law will be analyzed when determining the validity of the these documents. The Family Code also has specific parameters that must be met for a prenup. For either a prenup or a postnup, it is important to understand the intricacies of community property law and how it will affect property and income upon a breakdown of the relationship.
It is not uncommon for the validity of a prenup or postnup to be the first aspect litigated in a divorce case because one spouse may feel they deserve something other than what was agreed to in the document. It is important to have an attorney represent you in preparation and litigation of a prenup.