Frequently Asked Questions
How long before my wedding date should I retain family
law counsel to prepare a premarital agreement?
Not only is procrastination the thief of time, but when it comes to premarital
agreements, it can mean the difference between an enforceable premarital agreement
and one that is not. Accordingly, each party should retain their own lawyer well in
advance of the wedding date.
Under Section 1615(c) of the Family Code, a prenuptial agreement may only be
executed seven calendar days after it is first circulated between the parties for it to be
enforceable. As a practical matter, this requires that all of the terms in your prenuptial
agreement be agreed upon weeks before your wedding date. Many premarital
agreements take months to properly negotiate and finalize, so it is essential that you
give yourself enough lead time in starting the process.
As explained elsewhere on this website, effective premarital agreements are not
cookie-cutter forms. As a result, every premarital agreement must be specifically
tailored to take into account the unique circumstances and needs of each couple.
Among other things, the law requires the parties to make detailed financial disclosures
of their assets, liabilities and income in connection with entering into a premarital
agreement. This is among the many reasons why preparing a premarital agreement that
complies with the rigors of California law takes time.