California is a community property state. That is, all property acquired during the marriage is presumptively community property. However, California also recognizes separate property such as gifts, inheritances, earnings before marriage, earnings after permanent separation, as well as separate property business earnings. Due to the legal partnership status that of both parties upon marriage, both spouses are legally responsible for the assets and debts acquired during the marriage.
A prenuptial agreement, however, allows a spouse to alter specific rights and obligations with respect to all property acquired during the marriage that would otherwise be imposed by California community property laws. In other words, a prenuptial agreement essentially serves to opt out of community property obligations for purposes of ensuring that a spouse’s separate property owned and acquired before marriage remains separate regardless of what California community property laws implicate.
At San Diego Biz Law our lawyers draft prenuptial agreements in a manner that conforms to California law requirements as well as dispute the validity of proposed agreements if any deficiencies exist in said contract. Provided that prenuptial agreements must be in writing, signed by both parties, and entered into voluntarily with full disclosure, it is critical that a spouse is represented by an experienced family law lawyer at the time the agreement is signed.