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What Items Can You Include in a Prenuptial Ag...

What Items Can You Include in a Prenuptial Ag...

Couples getting married in California may have high-value assets, business interests, and investments that they need to think about when they say “I do.”  Many of these interests could end up being shared with your spouse, and if you get divorced you could lose half of them, which could be devastating to your finances.  Many people seek to aggressively protect their interests – and their spouses may ask for certain terms in response, such as guaranteed alimony or an infidelity clause.  Couples have wide latitude to agree to whatever terms they want, but some terms are simply off limits.  The Santa Barbara divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain what terms you can and cannot include in a prenuptial agreement in California. What Items are Not Allowed in Prenuptial Agreements in California? Rather than explaining what items you can include in a prenup, it might be simpler to approach the answer by looking at what you cannot include.  Generally, couples can agree to any terms they want – unless the government has specifically barred those kinds of terms.  Courts will typically decline to enforce any clauses or agreements that violate any of the following standards: Public Policy Violations Courts often look to “public policy” when determining limitations on contracts and agreements.  Courts want to leave people free to make choices and decisions in their lives and they want to be able to protect certain interests, such as the safety and well-being of those people.  To ensure they can do this, they may bar enforcement of certain terms.  For instance, any terms that would involve...
How Long After a Marriage Can You Enact a Pos...

How Long After a Marriage Can You Enact a Pos...

Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, but, as the name implies, they are formed after you get married instead of before.  There are many things you might learn about your spouse, about each other’s finances, and about various aspects of your marital relationship only after you get married, so it is important that couples be able to form these kinds of post-marriage agreements.  These agreements have to be made after the marriage begins, but is there a time limit or waiting period before the agreement can be made?  Is there an optimal time to write a postnuptial agreement?  The Santa Barbara divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain. How Long Do You Have to Wait to Write a Postnup in California? If you are considering forming an agreement with your spouse to plan out certain aspects of a potential divorce ahead of time, you can typically choose to sign a prenuptial agreement before you get married or a postnuptial agreement after you get married.  Typically, prenuptial agreements are signed in the weeks leading up to the wedding, but postnuptial agreements may be formed months or even years after the wedding. Under the law, there is no limitation as to when you can form this agreement; as long as it is signed after you get married, it would count as a postnuptial agreement.  Couples are allowed to freely agree to write a postnup whenever they want.  This could be written just after the marriage, or you could even draft the agreement and sign it the day after you get married if you wanted.  Alternatively,...
What Items Can You Include in a Postnuptial A...

What Items Can You Include in a Postnuptial A...

A postnuptial agreement is a good way to set up the outcome of a potential divorce case ahead of time.  These agreements give you greater control over your assets and how your divorce will proceed instead of relying on the court’s decisions.  When you form a postnuptial agreement, you typically have wide latitude to include whatever you want – but there are certain things the courts will not allow in a postnup.  The Santa Barbara divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain what you can and can’t include in a postnuptial agreement in California.  For help with your postnup, call our law offices today for a free legal consultation. What Terms Are Allowed in a Postnup? California law gives married couples a lot of freedom to choose what happens in their divorce case if both parties are willing to agree on the outcome.  Prenuptial agreements formed before the marriage can include many of these terms, but postnuptial agreements formed after the marriage starts can also include any of the following concepts, decisions, or ideas if you did not sign a prenup: Decisions on Property Division If you get divorced, one of the biggest issues will be deciding who gets to keep what property.  In California, the property you share with your spouse is usually divided 50/50.  A couple can use a postnuptial agreement to agree to a different split.  Additionally, the property that is divided is your shared “community property.”  A postnuptial agreement can define something as community property or keep it separate as individual property, even if it wouldn’t normally be defined that...
Are You Legally Separated When You File for D...

Are You Legally Separated When You File for D...

Divorce and legal separation are some of the options to end your relationship in California.  Many people look to divorce to completely end their marriage and fully sever their ties to their spouse, but many other couples use legal separation instead or as a temporary measure.  These processes have many details and intricate legal issues that your attorney can explain.  For now, we will investigate the difference between separation and divorce and whether filing for divorce automatically means you are legally separated.  If you need help with your divorce case, call the Santa Barbara divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today for a free legal consultation. Does Filing for Divorce Mean You Are Legally Separated in California? Filing for legal separation and filing for divorce are very similar.  Everything that comes after – child custody decisions, asset division, alimony orders, etc. – is also very similar.  However, divorce and legal separation are still separate processes that require separate court filings. When you file for divorce or separation, you typically use the same form (form FL-100), but that form has a box to check for divorce and a box to check for separation.  This means that to file for legal separation, you need to specifically choose to file for legal separation – filing for divorce does not automatically separate you. When you file for legal separation, you and your spouse begin living separately, dividing assets, dividing child custody, paying alimony, and otherwise separating yourselves from each other.  In a divorce, you have to wait 6 months before these divisions will go into effect.  However, you...
Do You Have to Pay Spousal Support During a S...

Do You Have to Pay Spousal Support During a S...

When you and your spouse are legally separated, it accomplishes many of the same goals as divorce and you become independent people in many ways.  Primarily, legal separation creates legal independence since it does not grant other types of independence while you are still officially married during separation.  In many cases, this can mean still paying spousal support or “alimony” during a separation – but this is not always the case.  The Ventura alimony lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain when you might have to pay alimony during legal separation in California. Can You Get Alimony During a Legal Separation? Typically, alimony is associated with divorce cases.  Courts order alimony payments in many divorce cases where one of the spouses cannot stand on their own without financial support from their ex-spouse.  This helps prevent spouses from staying in an unhappy marriage because they know it brings them financial support.  Because legal separation has many of the same financial effects of divorce, spousal support is often available in legal separation cases as well. Alimony is typically ordered in any divorce case where it is needed.  When couples split their finances during a divorce, one spouse may be out of work or unable to work because of medical issues, time spent taking care of their children, or because they do not have marketable job skills they can use to support themselves.  When this happens, courts award alimony to help the spouse.  This may include permanent alimony payments to help them on a long-term basis or temporary alimony to help them for a limited time while they...
Can a Husband Sue His Wife’s Lover in C...

Can a Husband Sue His Wife’s Lover in C...

Relationships can become very difficult if one of the spouses cheated on the other.  In many cases, adultery could even end the relationship.  Historically, victims of adultery had the right to take legal action against their spouse and the person that their spouse cheated on them with.  What are the current laws in California?  Can you sue your wife’s lover if she cheated on you?  The Ventura family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain. Can You Sue Your Wife’s Lover for an Affair in California? In the past – and in certain states even today – you could sue someone who tried to take your spouse away from you.  In some states, these are known as “heart balm” laws, since they are intended to soothe a broken heart.  “Alienation of affections” and “criminal conversation” were the names of the two primary causes of action for affairs and adultery. Criminal conversation was typically filed by a man whose wife cheated on him against the man she cheated with.  Alienation of affections could be used against any defendant, regardless of gender.  Alienation of affections was also broader and could apply to any bad conduct that contributed to the divorce or reduced the love between the married couple.  This could include non-sexual interference, such as interfering with the marriage by giving malicious advice that they should get divorced. In all but a few states in the United States, these causes of action were abolished a long time ago.  That means that in California, you cannot file any of these lawsuits against your wife’s lover for an...
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