Premarital, Post-Marital & Cohabitation Agreements
If you are considering marriage
or just living together, you may have concerns about a variety of issues. What if there
are children from a previous marriage? How will assets be divided if the relationship
ends? What happens if you die? Without an effective premarital (sometimes called
prenuptial) or cohabitation agreement in place these questions will be answered for you by
the courts if things don't work out. However, you can reach agreement with your partner in
advance, answer these questions yourselves and enter into an enforceable premarital or
cohabitation agreement outlining your respective rights.
Many individuals and couples who love each other want to
enter into a committed relationship but are frightened about the financial implications.
One party may own a thriving business or an expensive home or there may be children from a
previous marriage. Or one party may have extensive debts, which frighten his/her partner.
Although parties don't want to enter a relationship assuming it will end, they are also
afraid of what they might lose if things don't work out.
Judith believes that the Collaborative
Law process is particularly suited to helping people reach agreements, which can be
included in effective and enforceable premarital or cohabitation agreements. In this
Collaborative Law process, each party hires his or her own lawyer and the parties and
lawyers meet together to discuss the issues to be covered before drafting an
agreement. Each party is encouraged to express his or her concerns, with the resulting
document reflecting joint agreement or compromises. These agreements can address any issue
that the parties choose including distribution of their assets if they decide to end their
relationship. This process usually ends up strengthening a relationship, not hurting it!
Parties can also enter into postmarital agreements
(sometimes referred to as postnuptial agreements) covering many of the same
issues. However, the process and your duties to each other are different during your
marriage. You need an attorney familiar with postmarital agreements to ensure that your
postmarital agreement will be enforced.
It is VERY IMPORTANT for parties to choose an attorney
who is experienced and familiar with California law governing the enforceability of all of
these agreements. Judith Nesburn has lectured extensively in this specialized area of law
and has worked with parties negotiating and drafting cohabitation, premarital and
post-marital agreements for many years.
At the Law and Mediation Offices of Judith C. Nesburn,
located in Los Angeles, the focus is on alternative means of dispute resolution in all
divorce and family law matters, including the review and preparation of pre-nuptial,
post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements/contracts. Please contact Judith to schedule a confidential
meeting to learn how you can resolve your family law matters with sensitivity, dignity and
|Attorney Judith C. Nesburn has been practicing law since
1986, representing men and women throughout the Greater Los Angeles area in divorce and
family law disputes. The combination of her legal expertise and her prior years of
experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker uniquely qualifies Judith as an effective
advocate and compassionate ally for her family law clients. Please contact Judith to discuss how you can use a
Collaborative approach in cohabitation, pre-nuptial and postnuptial agreements.