Pre-nuptial agreements are as useful to a same-sex couple as to a heterosexual couple. Same-sex couples potentially face the same and perhaps more issues as every other couple and have to deal with them in the same manner.
What Do Pre-Nuptials Cost And How Is It Paid?
In Sacramento, each party should budget at least $5000 to negotiate and execute a prenuptial agreement. When the party with the larger estate requires a prenuptial agreement, that person often ends up paying the attorney’s fees for both as a way of inducing the other party to cooperate without penalizing them financially. One reason pre-nuptial agreements tend to be pricey is because the attorney is creating (and thus becoming liable for) a document that may not be enforced for many years and then under difficult or stressful circumstances. The attorney has to build that kind of deferred liability into his pricing module.
Can a Judge Decide to Ignore the Terms of a Prenuptial Agreement if Facts Warrant it?
By law a judge can modify spousal support provisions of a prenup if, at the time of enforcement the court finds that such spousal support terms (including a waiver) are unfair or unreasonable. That is true even if both parties were represented by independent legal counsel. The idea is that if circumstances are compelling enough, the parties 20 years before the situation arises shouldn’t be able to determine whether support is necessary in the future if compelling circumstances exist.
Judges apply this right very carefully and only in compelling circumstances, where justice requires that the court ignore what the parties agreed to years before without the ability to consider the pluses and minuses of the waiver in real world circumstances.
Have Prenuptial Agreements Gotten An Undeserved Bad Reputation Over the Years?
Prenuptial agreements have developed an unjustified negative reputation. Such agreements are often seen as overbearing and creating resentment. They are believed to typically be negotiated in a situation in which one party gives the other an ultimatum. Either you sign this or we don’t get married. That’s one reason the California legislature tries to temper the potential for abuse by effectively requiring that each party have a copy of the final agreement at least seven days before the wedding; that both parties have independent legal counsel and by giving the court the ability to ignore or modify spousal support waivers or provisions, if future enforcement would result in unfairness.
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