Tag Archives: Prenuptial

San Francisco Family Lawyers at Heath-Newton Say to Follow the Three Rules of Prenuptial Agreements

San Francisco, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 04, 2011

When entering a partnership, making a concrete financial plan allows for a couple to protect loved ones and their assets, while strengthening their vows and commitment to each other. More than ever couples are opting for cohabitation over marriage and many need a solid financial plan to secure their mutual assets. The prenuptial agreement helps relieve present and future potential property disputes, while bringing the focus to the partnership and not the payment.

Premarital agreements are vital for couples who want to strengthen their relationships before marriage, said Heath-Newton, LLP managing partner Erik Newton. In this environment, family finances are more important than ever before, and a vast number of marriages end over financial issues. Proactive couples are keen to address these issues in advance by understanding their obligations to one another, and by discussing premarital agreements.

San Francisco Bay Area family law firm Heath-Newton, LLP recommends that all engaged couples sign a prenuptial agreement, but warns that a poorly done agreement can cause difficulties if it cannot be enforced. With the experience of over 400 family law cases, Heath-Newtons team of San Francisco divorce attorneys tells those interested in a useful prenuptial agreement to follow three basic rules.

First, both parties must be represented by an attorney, even if one of the parties is an attorney themselves. The case law has been quite clear on this score: when one party doesnt know what theyre getting into, the prenuptial agreement can be overturned.

Second, couples must give the process time. They must wait seven days between delivering the final draft of the agreement to each other and the signing of that draft. Also, its best to begin negotiations before the wedding invitations go out.

Third, full disclosure of each spouses financial picture is vital. When in doubt, one should over-disclose. Each person needs to know what she/he is getting into if the couple wants the agreement to be fair and enforceable.

Some couples sign prenuptial agreements that include terms they know arent enforceable. They do this because they wish to memorialize agreements in writing, whether or not California courts will uphold those agreements. Other couples care mostly about protecting assets in case of a future breakup, and so enforcement is a top priority.

I retained Mr. Erik Newton’s services after being surprised by a prenuptial agreement presented by my husband several weeks before our wedding date, said Heath-Newton, LLP client Deborah J. I spoke to several other lawyers before choosing Erik, who presented a wonderful, distinctive balance of personal concern, consideration for my spouse, and sharp expertise in the field. He helped me navigate through the scary legal jargon, and connect with my husband on the issues that mattered to usI’d highly recommend Erik for others seeking an attorney in prenuptial law.

Heath-Newton attorneys focus on all areas of family law and estate planning. What sets Heath-Newton, LLP apart from other law firms is that clients are shown how every choice affects their bottom line and every person in their family. Their straightforward process allows Heath-Newton attorneys to assess the issues, goals, and risks of a clients situation and then create a legal plan with which to move forward.

For more information about prenuptial agreements or any of Heath-Newton, LLPs services, please contact Heath-Newton, LLP by calling (415) 992-5038, visit their website at http://www.heathnewton-sf.com, or drop by their office located at 240 Stockton Street, Suite 400 in San Francisco, California.

About Heath-Newton, LLP

Heath-Newton, LLP is a San Francisco family law practice focused on families. Their attorneys pride themselves on working with clients from all backgrounds and lifestyles. Heath-Newton, LLP specializes in premarital agreements (prenups), same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships, divorce, child support, spousal support, adoption, and child custody in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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Heath Newton Counselors at Law Share Three Essential Tips on How to Choose a California Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) November 08, 2012

Heath Newton Counselors at Law extends its accolades for being on the right path in San Francisco family law the path of information gathering. Many people enter marriage (which is a legal contract) without realizing that when the ceremony is over, they legally accept Californias Family Code as their own default prenup unless they opt out.

An attorney should let their client know what the law is, what theirr choices are, and the implication of both. Maybe the client wants to change how the Family Code applies to their marriage and maybe they dont. Its always wise to make informed decisions, and this process can only strengthen the marriage in the future.

Congratulations! If youre considering consulting with a California prenuptial agreement attorney, good things must be happening in your life and were very happy for you, said Felix Chen, marketing coordinator of Heath Newton LLP. We would like to get your marriage started on the right path and avoid as many conflicts down the line as possible.

Heath Newton Counselors at Law is sharing the top three qualities of a qualified prenuptial agreement attorney. When a premarital couples interviews potential lawyers, look for the lawyer who stands out by:

Heath-Newton, LLP Educates on Prenuptial Agreements

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 03, 2012

More people are searching the internet for sample premarital agreements these days. A prenuptial agreement is, by definition, a highly customized contract that is only useful to the couple for whom it was created. For that reason, its impossible to provide a prenuptial agreement sample that would do any good. So rather than provide a premarital agreement sample that might steer people in the wrong direction, Heath-Newton, LLP educates its clients by listing the basic requirements of a valid prenuptial agreement in California.

The first issue is what to do with assets acquired before marriage. California is a community property state, which means that income earned during marriage is community property and gets split evenly between the parties if there is ever a divorce. Assets acquired before marriage are separate property and remain separate so long as theyre not commingled. The challenge here is that assets are very easily commingled, and most couples end up doing so unintentionally. The vast majority of California prenups, therefore, address what happens to assets acquired before marriage, and close off the loopholes in California community property law. Whatever works best for the couple is enforceable as long as it is clearly spelled out.

The second issue is income earned during marriage. As mentioned, income earned during marriage is considered community property in California. That means that whatever is earned during marriage is owned one half by each spouse, no matter who is working and how much they earn. This rule simply does not fit with everyones philosophy of marriage, and those people choose to modify these terms in their premarital agreement.

The third issue most couples want to address with a prenuptial agreement is spousal support which is often called alimony in other states. Essentially, after separation in California, in most cases, the higher earning spouse is going to end up paying the lower earning spouse some amount of money every month in support. The problem is that the amount of money, and the duration of the payments are both up in the air, and left largely to judicial discretion. This makes it hard to plan for the future. Many couples want to create certainty around this issue, so they modify the terms in various ways. For instance, couples might limit the maximum support amount, limit the duration, or create a lump sum payment in lieu of support. Again, most modifications are acceptable to the courts so long as theyre fair, clearly drafted, and everyone knows what theyre getting into.

A prenuptial agreement can include as many terms as a couple can imagine these are simply the most common. With those out of the way, lets turn to enforcement basics. These must be handled for a binding and valid agreement in California.

Each party must provide full and fair disclosure of assets and debts. A fair deal is not made if it is not known what is being dealt. Asset disclosures are a basic, fundamental element of a binding prenuptial agreement. The more detailed the better.

Both parties must be represented by Independent Counsel. California law is quite strict on this point. Each party must fully understand what theyre signing, and the only way to ensure this is for everyone to have an independent lawyer. An agreement cannot be signed if there is no representation, but it probably wont be enforceable in court.

The seven-day rule. Once the final draft of an agreement has been approved by both parties, there must be seven days of waiting before signing it. There is some recent case law that contradicts this long-standing rule, but it is quite limited. To be on the safe side, wait seven days before signing.

Dont bring up the idea a prenuptial agreement two weeks before a wedding. prenuptial agreements must be entered into free of coercion and duress. Waiting until after the caterer has been hired and the cake is being baked looks a bit like coercion. The earlier one is started on this process the better.

For a prenuptial agreement sample, or any questions about the process, feel free to give Heath-Newton, LLP a call at (415) 398-1290. They are all experienced divorce attorneys, and love this area of the law.

About the company:

At Heath-Newton LLP, they specialize in family law, asset protection and estate planning services. Based in San Francisco, their boutique firm has earned a reputation for managing their clients cases well, reaching successful resolutions and minimizing costs and disruption to their clients lives.

They have handled a long list of family-law cases, including a broad range of issues facing new families (such as domestic partnerships, premarital agreements, adoption and more), as well as divorce, asset division, child custody and child and spouse support. They also have extensive experience in estate planning, wills, probate, mediation, living wills and trusts.

Collectively, their attorneys have thousands of hours of experience, allowing them to be both efficient and effective. They are guided by a practical approach that emphasizes avoiding litigation to minimize costs and disruption; however, they can and will be fierce litigators when all other strategies have proven ineffective. For more information visit their website at http://www.heathnewton.com. To discuss a situation with one of their attorneys, please call them at (415) 398-1290.

San Francisco Family Law Firm Heath-Newton LLP Provides New Checklist for Creating a Prenuptial Agreement

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 21, 2012

The San Francisco family law counselors at Heath-Newton share a checklist of the top ten questions to ask when drafting a prenuptial agreement in California. In their experience, the attorneys at Heath-Newton have seen that many couples enter into a marriage without an understanding of the resulting legal and financial obligations.

Though planning a wedding and entering into marriage is an exciting time for couples, there are also legal implications and consequences to consider. The experts at Heath-Newton recommend taking a proactive and positive start to the legal aspects of marriage by researching prenuptial agreements and Californias default family law.

The following checklist of questions provides a starting point for couples as they consider a California prenuptial agreement.


Family Law Firm Heath-Newton Shares New Advice on Essential Steps to Draft a California Prenuptial Agreement

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) February 01, 2013

The San Francisco family law experts at Heath-Newton share their advice about the four essential steps to ensure a legally executable prenuptial agreement. The divorce attorneys at Heath-Newton explain that following these steps can help to set the right expectations and answer questions regarding the legal aspects of money and marriage.