If, a decade ago, you had asked your intentional spouse to get a marriage, you might have had a provocative fright or you would have been cold on the shoulder. But in recent years, marital agreements have become commonplace, as couples increasingly recognize the wisdom of having a legally binding contract that describes, for example, who owns it before marriage and how marital property is distributed in the event of divorce. At Whitmarsh Family Law, our divorce lawyer in Los Angeles, California, understands that when couples decide to get married – and you have a case before you say I do — the requirement for a marriage in Los Angeles may not be the most romantic step toward my happiness. But if these two decide to divorce – whether within five or twenty-five years – decisions about how or how the company is divided can be clearly defined by both parties when they make a marriage pact in Los Angeles. I would like to highlight marital agreements and give an overview to entrepreneurs who may be thinking about how a prenup could benefit them and their families. If you own a business with others, it may be worth asking your employees to also sign a prenup or, if they are already married, a post-marriage agreement. Of course, it will depend on individual attitudes and there will have to be a consensus. Partnership contracts, by-law and/or shareholder agreements may even require unmarried partners or shareholders to have a marriage agreement before marriage. Clarke Willmott has worked with entrepreneurs and family businesses for more than 130 years. Such extensive experience has given us an unsering appreciation of the problems that could arise when business interests concern the family. This makes us unique in being able to advise you on the best before or after the expiry agreement in order to protect your assets and your business on terms that work for all parties involved. In Los Angeles County, business ownership and marriage can create a complex legal space where spouses can object in the event of a divorce. Marriage contracts can give clear and concise instructions on how each spouse leaves the marriage while leaving the affairs intact.
The degree of potential risk in the absence of a pre-marital agreement varies from state to state. For example, the inhabitants of a “co-ownership state” generally face an equal distribution of wealth, while the inhabitants of a “fair distribution” state face a distribution of wealth based on the embodiment of equity defined by the statutes and cases of that state. We believe that all farming families should use prior or post-agreements as essential elements of their heritage protection planning. Like its pre-marital counterpart, spouses cannot include custody or custody issues in the document, as both are not enforceable by a post-uptial agreement. If you are well designed, there are no two marriage contracts that are the same, whether you are a business owner or not. At Whitmarsh Family Law, our Los Angeles lawyer understands that the marriage plan, financial situation and general arrangements are different for everyone. The goal of creating a marriage pact is to ensure that it meets your specific needs, so that it serves a real legal purpose, and that the language will be different for each couple who concludes the contract. This often weakens the applicability of the agreement and can even invalidate it completely.
The court is more willing to focus on an agreement that attempts to close assets accumulated before marriage than one that attempts to exclude assets that appeared during the marriage. Structuring a prenupation to clearly identify all acquired assets – for example a share of a business – is a reasonable strategy.