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Prenuptial agreements are generally contracts that persons enter into in contemplation of marriage or after marriage which establish the property and support rights of the persons during the marriage and at the time of divorce. Practically speaking, these agreements accomplish three objectives:

First, they set forth in the agreement what property each person is bringing with them into the marriage (which is characterized as separate property) to establish who has the legal right to manage, control, possess and sell that separate property, which generally is only the spouse who owns that separate property. It will also set forth by agreement what separate property was brought into the marriage which is helpful in dividing property in the event that there is a divorce.

Second, prenuptial agreements can affect how property acquired during the marriage is characterized. California is a community property state--meaning that generally all property acquired during the marriage, not through inheritance or gift, is characterized as community property. However, California law also allows spouses to agree that the community property laws will not apply to property acquired during the marriage, including employment income, so that the property acquired can be treated as separate property.

Third, the parties can contract as to the issue of spousal support. A relevantly recent change in the law by the California Supreme Court now allows parties generally to waive spousal support rights by means of a premarital agreement.

While some may say that prenuptual agreements invoke questions of trust, it is really about stability and ensuring that the complex problems that may come with certain assets, such as a business, do not become an issue in the marriage. If one party has a great deal of debt, whether personal or business related, the agreement can help protect the other party financially as community property is subject to the creditors of either spouse. Prenuptial agreements can also serve as an estate planning tool, as community property laws apply to property in the case of a spouse’s death. If one or both of the parties to an agreement have children from a previous relationship that he or she wants to ensure is financially protected in the event of that parent's death, the agreement will help to provide safeguards to help ensure that the children will be provided for.

We will sit down with you and discuss what your needs are to ensure that your goals are achieved with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. He will also help out work out any questions with your potential or current spouse and his or her representative to ensure that this process is completed with as little dispute as possible. Please note that each party should be represented by his or her own attorney to ensure that the agreement is valid and that each party is fully apprized of his or her rights.

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We help in matters involving in providing lawyer representation in San Diego regarding: Family Law Appeals, Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage), Paternity, Prenuptual Agreement and Postnuptual Agreement, Sole Physical Child Custody, Joint Physical Child Custody, Sole Legal Custody, Joint Legal Custody, and Child Visitation, Child Support, Spousal Support, Support Garnishment Orders, Support Wage Assigment Orders, Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders, Separate Property Characterization, Community Property Division, Military Divorce, Division of Retirements including Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Flat Fee Divorce, Flat Rate Divorce, Affordable Divorce, Low Cost Divorce, Cheap Divorce, Prepaid Divorce, Paralegal Divorce Services, and Dissolution of Domestic Partnerships.

The Law Office of A. Stephen Rocha represents clients throughout San Diego County, including: Allied Gardens, Alpine, Barrio Logan, Bankers Hill, Bay Park, Bonsail, Camp Pendleton, Carmel Valley, Carlsbad, Centre City, Chula Vista, City Heights, Clairemont, Clairemont Mesa, Coronado, Crown Point, Del Cerro, East County, El Cajon, East Elliot, East San Diego, Encanto, Escondido, Encinitas, Golden Hill, Grantville, Hillcrest, Kearny Mesa, Kensington, La Jolla, La Jolla Shores, La Mesa, La Playa, Linda Vista, Logan Heights, Loma Portal, Mira Mesa, Miramar, Miramar Ranch, Mission Beach, Mission Hills, Mission Valley, National City, Normal Heights, North Clairemont, North County, North Park, Oak Park, Ocean Beach, Oceanside, Old Town, Pacific Beach, Peninsula, Point Loma, Poway, Ramona, San Diego, Scripps Ranch, Serra Mesa, Sorrento Valley, South Bay, South Park, Talmadge, Tierrasanta, University City, University Heights, and Vista.

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