The premarital agreement is a powerful tool. With it, the parties can override California’s community property presumption and keep separate property separate. A good example of this would involve earnings.
A premarital agreement can override California’s community property presumption and keep separate property separate.
Protecting Earnings with a Premarital Agreement
In California, wages and earnings acquired after the date of marriage (and before the date of separation) are community property. However, the parties can stipulate in a premarital agreement that all wages and earnings shall be separate property.
Homeownership and Premarital Agreements
Another area where a premarital agreement is helpful is where one party owns a house prior to the marriage and the couple chooses to live there after they get married. The house is the separate property of the person who bought it. However, the community can earn an interest in the house by virtue of making the mortgage payments with the couple’s earnings.
In order to avoid this outcome, the parties can stipulate in a premarital agreement that the community will not earn an interest in the house as a result of community earnings contributing to the mortgage payments.
Many parties want to address support with a premarital agreement. However, a waiver of child support is not enforceable. Child custody and child support laws cannot be overridden in a prenuptial agreement.