Ginter Family Law assist with negotiating, drafting and/or reviewing a host of various family law agreements. Each of these agreements has its own purpose and are very powerful family law tools. The procedural requirements and technical requirements for family law agreements are complex. One single small mistake with any one of these agreements can have devastating negative effects. Call us today to ensure your family law agreement is done correctly.
Since the use of these agreements are largely unknown by the general public, below you will find an explanation of the different family law agreements and how they may help you. We encourage you to read these agreements, even if you are thinking you do not "need" one. You may just have an "a-ha!" moment that changes your mind. Your education on family law agreemetns starts here at Ginter Family Law...
Premarital Agreements (aka Prenuptial Agreements)
Premarital Agreements are oftentimes referred as "prenuptial agreements," and they are arguably the most well known of all the family law agreements. A premarital agreement is an agreement made between two people in the anticipation of marriage. Ginter Family Law assists with the negotiation, drafting and/or review of Premarital Agreements. Many people believe that you need a Premarital Agreement only if you are rich. Another common belief is that a Premarital Agreement is only helpful if there is a divorce. Both of these beliefs are wrong! Premarital Agreements may serve many important functions, including:
To reduce attorney's fees and the cost of a divorce, if one should later occur.
To keep property you have acquired prior to your date of marriage as your own separate property.
To your protect property for your children from a prior relationship.
To protect yourself against your future spouse's debts and liabilities that he or she is bringing into the marriage, such as outstanding tax liabilities, support obligations to a former spouse or children, a pending lawsuit, debts to other creditors, or other such actual or potential obligations.
To create a comprehensive plan for property division or to create a smaller plan that only deals with just one or a few assets. For example, if you and your future spouse want to specify how a house owned by one of you prior to marriage will be dealt with upon a divorce, you can draft a Premarital Agreement to deal with this one asset. On the other hand, if you and your future spouse want to agree on how all of your property will be divided in the event of death or divorce, a Premarital Agreement can do this as well.
To provide certainty as to the law that will be applied to the property division when the marriage ends. One of the most constant features about California marital property law is that it is constantly in a state of flux. With a premarital agreement, you can have certainty in the division of your property by protecting yourself from changes in the law or changes in attitude.
To limit or eliminate the Court's ability to order spousal support in the event of a divorce.
A Few Notes on Premarital Agreements at Ginter Family Law: One of the most important concepts--if not THE most important concepts--with Premarital Agreements is enforceability. California law requires compliance with many rules in order for a Premarital Agreement to be enforceable. If the Premarital Agreement is not enforceable, then you will have not only wasted time and money, you will not reap the protection of the Premarital Agreement! Without going into all the details of these legal rules, suffice it to say that because of the legal rules, Ginter Family Law can provide the following services with Premarital Agreements:
Retained Option: Retained to negotiate and either draft or review (as the case may be) the Premarital Agreement. With this option, Ginter Family Law will sign the Premarital Agreement and offers the highest chance of enforceability.
Non-Retained Option: For review of a Premarital Agreement where Ginter Family Law has not been retained to assist in the negotiation of the Premarital Agreement, we can consult with you to review a Premarital Agreement and, if chosen, draft an "Advisory Memorandum." An Advisory Memorandum is a writing that explains your rights under the Premarital Agreement. With this option, Ginter Family Law will not sign the Premarital Agreement.
Marital Settlement Agreements
A Marital Settlement Agreement is an agreement drafted between you and the other party in the contemplation of divorce. This complex and important document contains agreements for the issues that you are facing in your divorce, including property division, custody designations for children, a parenting plan as to when you and the other parent will spend time with the children and many other important issues relating to your children, child support, spousal support, attorney's fees, and much more. Ginter Family Law assists with the negotiation, drafting and/or review of family law Marital Settlement Agreements.
A Post-Marital Agreement is oftentimes referred to as an "Antenuptial Agreement." A Post-Marital Agreement is similar to a Premarital Agreement in its uses (take a look at the section, "Premarital Agreements"). However, a Post-Marital Agreement is made after marriage, and not in contemplation of a divorce or legal separation. As with Premarital Agreements, enforceability is a key issue, which makes their drafting critical to their success. Ginter Family Law assists with the negotation, drafting and/or review of Post-Marital Agreements.
Legal Separation Agreements
A Legal Separation Agreement is similar to a Marital Settlement Agreement in their purpose (see the section titled "Marital Settlement Agreements"). However, unlike a Marital Settlement Agreement that is drafted in contemplation of a divorce, a Legal Separation Agreement is drafted when you and the other party are contemplating a legal separation. With a legal separation, you and the other party remain married under the law. Most items found in a Marital Settlement Agreement are also found in a Legal Separation Agreement. Ginter Family Law assists with the negotiation, draftings and/or review of Legal Separation Agreements.
Non-Marital Agreements, sometimes referred to as "Cohabitation Agremeents" and "Marvin Agreements," are for people that are living together that are not married and not considering marriage. While California does not recognize common law marriage, there are certain claims that can be made by non-married partners based on contract law principles, such as claims that property is owned by one or both parties, and claims for financial support. A Non-Marital Agreement helps to avoid these non-marital claims and to provide peace of mind for couples want to live together and remain unmarried. Ginter Family Law assists with the negotiation, drafting and/or review of Non-Marital Agreements.