Establish the Framework for Your Marriage

Prenuptial Agreements in Los Angeles

Taking a Realistic Approach to Marriage

Marriage is not only a public statement of a couple's emotional commitment but a powerful legal and economic relationship. At Stolar & Associates, our lawyers help clients establish peace of mind and thoughtful planning through premarital agreements and post-marital agreements.

The process of crafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is an exercise in money management and financial planning that provides more than just economic benefits to the couple involved. We have done prenups for people just starting out in their careers, financially established individuals, billionaires, and those on their second marriage.

During your consultation you will have the opportunity to discuss a variety of questions:

  • Will a cheap prenup protect me?
  • Can I get a postnuptial agreement?
  • What issues can a premarital agreement cover?
  • Will a premarital agreement protect my children?
  • Will following a sample prenup protect my interests?
  • What are the pros and cons of a postnuptial agreement?
  • Will a do-it-yourself prenup be enforced by a California court?
  • Will my interest in my business and home become community property after I marry?

Why Create a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is only effective if the court accepts it as valid, which is why there are serious risks involved in drafting a do-it-yourself premarital agreement or having your prenup drawn up by an inexperienced attorney. Our firm's Beverly Hills divorce lawyers offer an exceptional level of experience in drafting and reviewing California prenuptial agreements.

Couples choose to prepare financial agreements before marriage for many reasons:

  • A prenup can protect children from a previous marriage.
  • A prenup can establish the terms of a domestic partnership agreement.
  • A prenup can preserve your estate for your children, grandchildren, or loved ones.
  • A prenup can define limits to the amount and duration of alimony / spousal support.
  • One of you may be a student, a homemaker, or contributing to the other's business and may want a clear statement of the value of your contribution.
  • If you and your spouse bring significantly different personal estates or incomes to your marriage, you may want to keep your personal and community property separate.
  • A prenup can provide partners, members, or shareholders in a closely-held business with the control necessary to manage the business in the event of death or disability.
  • Disagreements and misunderstandings regarding money are a leading cause of divorce. If you identify and work through basic issues of financial responsibility before you marry, you and your fiancé will then be able to focus on the other aspects of your relationship.

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When Should a Premarital Agreement Be Drafted?

Our lawyers recommend drafting your prenuptial agreement as far in advance of your wedding as possible. Not only does this allow more time to thoughtfully work out the terms of the agreement, but also an agreement signed six months before the wedding is seen by the court as a stronger contract than one signed right before marriage. For that reason, it is critically important that, if you are negotiating a prenuptial agreement shortly before your wedding, you work with experienced legal counsel. Click here to request your consultation.

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Do You Need to Attack a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you are facing divorce in the Beverly Hills area and have concerns related to a prenuptial agreement or other marital contract, the legal counsel you hire could make all the difference in the outcome. Prenups vary dramatically depending on their original purposes, whether they were originally drafted by a knowledgeable lawyer, their enforceability, and a range of other factors. We can analyze all aspects of any prenuptial agreement, cohabitation agreement or domestic partnership agreement, and advise you on your likelihood of success in disputing either the validity of the entire contract or specific clauses and stipulations.

A few of the more common grounds for challenging such documents are:

  • Allegations of coercion, forgery or lack of proper witnessing
  • Basic unfairness of the original agreement to either party
  • Fraud or misrepresentation of either party's financial condition
  • Coverage of matters that cannot be legally determined in a prenup or other such contract

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Protecting Your Business with a Prenuptial Agreement

If you are preparing for marriage and either you or your spouse has a business interest, it may be wise to enter into a premarital contract that includes terms regarding management and business ownership. At Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, we have extensive experience in preparing prenuptial agreements to protect the interests of corporate shareholders, business partners, limited liability company (LLC) members, and sole entities during marriage. If you have a business interest, your premarital agreement will cover complex issues, including business valuation.

A premarital agreement can do the following for your business:

  • If you own a business in part or in whole before you are married, a premarital contract can specify how that interest will be kept separate from community property.
  • If you are involved in a family business before marriage, a prenuptial agreement can ensure the interest remains in the family in the event of your death or divorce.
  • If you have business partners, a premarital agreement can provide them with control over management of the business in the event of your death, disability or divorce.
  • If your business grows during the course of your marriage, an antenuptial agreement can protect the increased value from being considered community property.
  • If you contribute to the growth of your spouse's business during your marriage, a premarital contract can ensure that you receive credit for a share of that growth.

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The Pitfalls of Do-It-Yourself Prenups

It seems like a simple concept: get a pre-packaged or online form for a premarital contract, sit down with your fiancé(e) to work out the details, fill it out, and sign it. This allows you and your partner to move on to important wedding details. Why slow down the process? If you have a reason to sign a prenup, you should understand what protections it does or doesn't offer.

When it comes to prenups, you should consider the following:

  • California community property law is complex.
    Even state-specific forms often fail to comply with current legal requirements.
  • The success or failure of a prenuptial agreement lies in the details.
    You may have a false sense of security concerning the protection your agreement offers.
  • The court has discretion in deciding whether or not to enforce an agreement.
    It will base its decision on a number of factors not dealt with in package forms.
  • The terms must be reasonable and reached without duress or fraud.
    When each signer has a lawyer, it is much more likely the court will accept a prenup.

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Defending Prenuptial Agreements in Beverly Hills, CA

If you are facing divorce and counting on a prenuptial agreement to protect your interests, you need a highly qualified attorney on your side. Changes in California law and numerous high-profile case precedents in recent years have made it increasingly common for divorce attorneys to challenge the enforceability of prenups and other marital contracts.

We at Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation can build the strongest possible case in the defense of your prenup.

Seeking our counsel may be especially critical if you have high-net-worth, a "do-it-yourself" prenup, or one that was drafted many years ago. Assumptions about a contract can be extremely dangerous if you are facing the possibility of an intensely contested divorce. You can depend on our Beverly Hills divorce lawyers to thoroughly analyze every aspect of your marital agreement in light of your specific goals and concerns. We have developed prenups for many high-profile entertainers, business executives and others. We can defend your financial interests.

Our law firm can provide clear, practical counsel on:

  • Whether the overall agreement or specific aspects of it appear vulnerable to legal challenge
  • Viable approaches to enforcing the agreement—or finding an alternative path to fair resolution—in the face of false allegations of fraud, coercion, or unfairness
  • Striking the right balance for you when considering compromised solutions in negotiation vs. full-blown litigation in a Southern California court

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Marriage Financial Planning in Los Angeles, CA

When considering marriage, you have as a couple no doubt discussed financial issues such as income, savings, debt, and the responsibilities involved in having children. Have you come to agreement on how to handle differences when they arise? At Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, our Los Angeles family law attorneys encourage couples to build the framework for a strong marriage by employing our financial planning skills. These are skills that we have acquired by negotiating many antenuptial agreements or premarital agreements during our nearly 70 years' of combined experience.

The title "premarital agreement" suggests unity rather than division. Financial difficulties and disagreements about money management are the leading causes of divorce. Take the time now to work out a financial plan detailing the responsibilities and expectations you and your partner are bringing to your relationship. The process of developing a premarital agreement can be as important as the resulting document, providing you with practice in problem-solving.

You may be surprised at how property you bring to your marriage will be distributed in the event of your death if you do not provide guidance for the court through a prenuptial agreement, which are best accompanied by a carefully drafted will.

We will discuss these and other questions when helping you determine how to proceed:

  • Are there children from a previous marriage involved?
  • Do either of you have a business interest or family trust you bring to the marriage?

At Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, we are committed to helping clients build strong families through appropriate financial planning instruments. If you would like to speak with our lawyers about financial planning in preparation for marriage, or are ready to draft a premarital contract, we can provide you with the resources and guidance you need to make well-informed decisions.

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Our Family Lawyers Have Nearly 70 Years of Combined Experience

Laws governing community property and mutual responsibility have become more complex, and so have the issues dealt with in premarital agreements. It is increasingly important for marital contracts to be drafted or reviewed by an attorney with the appropriate experience. Our firm offers Nearly 70 years of combined experience in drafting premarital agreements and cohabitation agreements for Southern California couples.

Not every couple needs a prenuptial agreement, and in situations where they are needed, the issues that should be covered can vary widely. Whether you are considering entering marriage or a domestic partnership agreement, you are engaged, or you are married but considering a post-marital agreement, it is time to begin discussing how you will handle the issues involved. We wish to help you start the next chapter in your life with the right legal safeguards in place.

If you are seeking an attorney with extensive experience drafting premarital agreements, don't hesitate to reach out to our firm for help.

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