Prenuptial, Post-nuptial, & Cohabitation Agreements
Prenuptial, post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements have a significant emotional component as two people who are in love with each other are forced to address difficult financial issues. Yet having an agreement in place can eliminate the need for costly litigation, as well as the emotional and financial strain should the marriage/relationship end in divorce/separation.
Individuals who are planning to marry, who are already married, or who are hoping to live together in a non-marital relationship or registered domestic partnership can protect themselves and their assets with legal agreements. If the relationship dissolves, the rights and responsibilities of both parties are defined by the agreement, removing the need to contest and litigate many issues.
Therefore, a premarital agreement allows the parties to agree to property rights and override California’s community property presumption and keep separate property separate. For example, earnings acquired during marriage.
Protecting Property Rights
A premarital agreement can override California’s community property presumption and keep separate property separate.
In California, wages and earnings acquired after the date of marriage (and before the date of separation) are community property. However, the parties can stipulate in a premarital agreement that all wages and earnings shall be separate property.
Homeownership and Premarital Agreements
Another area where a premarital agreement is helpful is where one party owns a house prior to the marriage and the couple chooses to live there after they get married. The house is the separate property of the person who bought it. However, the community can earn an interest in the house by virtue of making the mortgage payments with the couple’s earnings.
In order to avoid this outcome, the parties can stipulate in a premarital agreement that the community will not earn an interest in the house as a result of community earnings contributing to the mortgage payments.
Los Angeles family law attorney Robert Gigliotti is experienced in drafting and negotiating prenuptial / premarital, post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements.
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Los Angeles Lawyer Robert Gigliotti has developed a unique civil and family law practice located in Encino, California representing Southern California Clients in Family Law and Divorce, Civil Litigation, Personal Injury Law, and Estate Planning since 1991.
We solve difficult legal issues by thinking creatively, identifying the broadest array of potential solutions, translating client interests into positions, assessing both conventional and novel options, and building consensus around our clients interests.