Asking your soon-to-be spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement can be a risky endeavor. The most common reactions – which are steeped in emotion – invariably revolve around trust. Ironically, prenups can be seen as encouraging trust; without them, the assets in your marriage will be subject to a host of laws of the California Family code and Probate Code.
Because the process of putting together a prenup includes complete disclosure about your financial situation, prenups could actually strengthen your relationship with your significant other. The process also initiates the inevitable discussions you and your future spouse are bound to have about financial situation.
Requirements for Prenups
You can thank legendary San Francisco Giants All-Star baseball player Barry Bonds for the tight rules of putting together a legal prenup.
In 1988, Bonds asked his (now) ex-wife to sign a prenup before their marriage. At the time, Bonds was earning an estimated $106,000. She signed the agreement – without having legal representation. When they divorced six years later, Bonds was earning a heckuva lot more money, and his ex-wife petitioned the prenup because of the absence of a lawyer.
The case made its way from the California Court of Appeal all the way up to the California Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Bonds.
The fallout from the Bonds case triggered the addition of several requirements for legal prenups in California. These include:
- Both spouses being represented by their own attorneys, unless one spouse waives the requirement in a written statement
- A seven (7) day waiting period from the time they are first presented with the prenup before signing it
- A summary in writing of the terms and effects of the agreement to the spouse who waived legal representation (The summary must be in a language in which the other spouse is deemed to be proficient)
Get Legal Help to Make Sure Your Prenup is Legit
Prenups can be legally powerful document that can be pivotal in the distribution for your assets should the marriage end. To make sure it is written accurately and legally, you need the expert services of an attorney skilled in marriage law. Contact Men’s Legal Center of San Diego at (619) 234-3838 today so that we can schedule an initial consultation with you.