Premarital Agreements - Part I

What is a premarital agreement?

In California, a premarital agreement, also commonly referred to as a “prenuptial agreement” or “prenup” is a written contract between prospective spouses or domestic partners regarding their respective property rights and financial responsibilities.

What laws govern premarital agreements?

Premarital agreements signed on or after January 1, 1986 are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which is codified at Family Code sections 1600 to 1617. Premarital agreements entered before 1986 are governed by the statutes and case law that were in effect before January 1, 1986. This article will focus on premarital agreements executed on or after January 1, 1986.

Are premarital agreements filed with the court?

Unlike marital settlement agreements, premarital agreements are not filed in court. However, if a premarital agreement covers real property assets, it may be advisable to record the premarital agreement in the county where the real property is located. Doing so places creditors on notice of the agreement and severs the rights of subsequent bona fide buyers. Your San Diego divorce attorney can best advise you whether your premarital agreement should be filed with the court.

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