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Santa Barbara Attorney for Postnuptial Agreements that Include Infidelity Clauses

Infidelity in a relationship can be the end of mutual trust and often leads to the end of a relationship.  Today, many people form prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to control how assets and money are divided when they get divorced, and many of these agreements include clauses that specifically guarantee consequences for unfaithfulness.

If you are married or considering getting married and want to form a postnuptial agreement that includes an infidelity clause or you already have an agreement you want to modify or enforce, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today.  Our Santa Barbara attorneys for postnuptial agreements including infidelity clauses can help with your case.  For a free consultation, call our law offices at (805) 585-5056.

When to Make a Postnuptial Agreement with an Infidelity Clause

While many people have heard of prenuptial agreements (or simply “prenups”), they may be confused by what postnuptial agreements are.  As the name suggests, instead of coming before the marriage like a prenup, postnups come after the marriage.  Many people feel that requiring a prenuptial agreement before getting married seems awkward – or they do not realize that a prenup would be helpful.  If you form an agreement after getting married, it is a postnuptial agreement instead, but it can contain many of the same attributes and agreements as a prenup.

Effects of a Postnuptial Agreement in California

A postnuptial agreement, like a prenuptial agreement, allows the parties to agree to certain terms about how their marriage will proceed.  These agreements typically include details about how assets and finances will be divided at the time of divorce.

Because California is a community property state, all assets are typically split 50/50 when a couple gets divorced.  This includes investments, cars, the contents of bank accounts, furniture, and even real estate and houses.  Instead of following this 50/50 split, you can usually form an agreement with your spouse to decide a different arrangement.

A postnuptial agreement can also include terms related to other issues that typically come up at the time of divorce.  While a postnuptial agreement cannot decide issues such as child custody and child support, it can decide alimony.  Alimony, or “spousal support,” consists of payments that one party makes to the other to support them after the marriage.  Especially if they have medical needs or disabilities, the court may order alimony – but you can include a requirement to pay alimony or other support benefits as part of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Infidelity Clauses in Postnuptial Agreements

“Infidelity clause” is the common name given to a clause in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that requires a cheating spouse to pay additional money during the divorce.  While postnuptial agreements often help the wealthier spouse by ensuring they get to keep more of their property after divorce, an infidelity clause helps the other spouse by ensuring they have something to fall back on if their spouse is unfaithful – and it helps dissuade them from cheating in the first place.

An infidelity clause usually does a few things.  First, the clause usually states that if the spouse is unfaithful, the other spouse will get more of their property upon divorce.  This may allow them to take more than a 50/50 split of the property, potentially giving them additional thousands or millions of dollars worth of assets, depending on the couple’s financial status.  Second, these clauses often include an agreement to pay alimony in the event of a divorce after infidelity.  This allows a spouse who was cheated on to continue to receive payments from their ex-spouse according to the terms of the agreement even if they would have been unlikely to receive alimony under California law.

When a “No Cheating” Clause is Necessary

An infidelity clause is always optional in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.  However, people who know that their spouse has a history of cheating on them can greatly benefit from an infidelity clause.  These kinds of clauses can help guarantee that if your spouse cheats again, they will have to pay penalties and support payments.

Spouses in situations where the other terms of the postnuptial agreement are very one-sided can also benefit from an infidelity clause.  This kind of clause could ensure the agreement benefits both parties even if the original goal of the agreement was solely to protect their spouse’s assets.

An infidelity clause can also help deter cheating.  If your spouse knows that they will need to pay penalties if they are caught cheating, they may be less likely to cheat.  If this is a problem in your relationship, consider forming a postnuptial agreement with an infidelity clause or modifying your prenuptial agreement to add an infidelity clause.

Free Legal Consultations on Postnuptial Agreements with Infidelity Clauses in Santa Barbara, California

If you are getting married or are already married and want to discuss your options to add an infidelity clause to your marriage, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today.  Our attorneys can represent you in the formation of an infidelity clause and help you get the protection and compensation you deserve in the event that your spouse cheats on you.  For a free legal consultation, call (805) 585-5056 today to speak to our Santa Barbara attorneys for postnuptial agreements that include infidelity clauses.

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