Many individuals are looking at premarital agreements to preserve and protect asset they have acquired before the marriage. Even though California Law states that assets acquired before marriage are separate property, if a person wants to protect such assets, its a good idea to consider a premarital agreement.
In California, once parties are married one spouse can begin to acquire an interest in the property of the other spouse. Hence, with time a spouse can acquire an interest in the separate property asset of the other spouse. The general rule is that all income earned during the marriage is community property. Therefore, as one spouse continues to make payments on his or her separate property with community income the community (the married couple) begings to acquire an interest in that property.
This rule also applies to the labor, work, and effort of the parties. Thus, if a spouse owns a business that was started before the marriage but continues to grow the business after the marriage, the community acquires an interest in the increased value of the business.
It is very important that parties seek legal advise when entering into an premarital agreement. If the premarital agreement is not done properly, it will be void. This is specially true when entering into spousal support waivers. Also, the spouse that is giving up his or her rights should seek legal advise to make sure they completely understand what rights he or she is waiving.
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