August 2016

Legal Update: Post-Nuptials – What You Should Know


by Monica M. Potter

“I Don’t Have Time to Get a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, Can’t We Just Sign a Post-Nuptial Agreement After the Wedding?”

Many clients ask me this question. Planning a wedding is a busy time and for most couples addressing marital planning is last on their to-do list. California does permit spouses to enter into postnuptial agreements after the wedding and if prepared and executed properly postnuptial agreements are enforceable and will be upheld in the event of a divorce.

However, there are two things clients and their advisors should be aware of:

  1. Unlike for prenuptial agreements, in California we do not have any statute or case law which explicitly provides that a postnuptial agreement can include a waiver of spousal support. For any client that is contemplating a complete waiver of spousal support in their agreement, a premarital agreement is preferred.
  2. In California we do not have a statute or case law which provides the level of financial disclosure required for a postnuptial agreement. In California, the law provides that for a prenuptial agreement, disclosure must be “fair, reasonable and full.” Because we do not have guidance as to the level of disclosure required for a postnuptial agreement, many attorneys will require more disclosure than would be necessary for a prenuptial agreement.