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While most people are familiar with prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements – signed after the wedding and sometimes well into the marriage – are less common. In California, the courts carefully scrutinize postnuptial agreements. If you are in the midst of divorce proceedings, it’s important to understand how your postnuptial agreement could impact your final divorce decree.

The first step is to determine whether or not your postnuptial agreement is legally enforceable. First, the agreement must be in writing; verbal agreements aren’t enforceable. The court then looks for evidence that both you and your spouse signed the agreement freely, without coercion. Next, the contents of the agreement are reviewed to ensure that, at the time it was signed, the postnuptial was generally fair and didn’t disadvantage one spouse. The agreement will also be analyzed to establish that, when it was executed, the agreement contained full financial disclosures from both spouses. Finally, the agreement is scrutinized to verify that each spouse had legal representation and was thus on a level playing field. If one spouse can challenge the enforceability of a postnuptial agreement, then the divorce proceedings become more complicated.

Beyond general enforceability issues, the specific provisions of a postnuptial agreement are also examined. For example, a postnuptial agreement cannot state that one spouse waives child support, and it cannot outline child custody and visitation rights. However, even if specific provisions are deemed unenforceable, the other provisions of the postnuptial agreement can still be valid.

Postnuptial agreements usually address financial issues. An agreement may limit spousal support, list separate property and community property, outline how a jointly owned business will be divided and managed, who will keep the family home, and how other assets and debts will be allocated.

If you are contemplating entering into a postnuptial agreement or have a postnuptial agreement and are considering a divorce, call Griffith, Young & Lass at 858-345-1720 for your free consultation. Our attorneys have experience navigating postnuptial agreements, and are prepared challenge or defend an agreement in divorce proceedings.

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

858-345-1720
john@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.

858-345-1720
catie@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.

858-345-1720
amy@gylfamilylaw.com

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