Criminal Law
Criminal Law
Criminal law concerns the system of legal rules that define what conduct is classified as a crime and how the government may prosecute individuals that commit crimes. Federal, state, and local governments all have penal codes that explain the specific...
Murder
Murder
Murder occurs when one human being unlawfully kills another human being. This is also known as homicide. The precise legal definition of murder varies by jurisdiction. Most states distinguish between different degrees of murder. Some other states base...
Drug Charges
Drug Charges
Drug Charges Laws regulating drug crimes are an area of intense interest in the United States right now. Many states have contemplated drug law reforms, including the increasing legalization of medical marijuana , and, in a few states, general marijuana...
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Domestic violence is a category of violent crime that applies to abuse and disputes that may arise in a familial or relationship context. Since the violence is “domestic,” it often occurs within the confines of the home or private...
Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery
Violent Crimes Crimes defined as violent may vary by state, but they often include crimes of harm against another person like assault or battery, sexual crimes like rape, and serious property crimes like arson. Although homocide crimes are often...
Armed Robbery
Armed Robbery
Robbery Robbery is defined as the taking of another’s property by force or threat. It is sometimes also referred to as larceny by threat or force. Because robbery involves injury or the threat of injury, it is considered a more serious crime than many of...
Burglary and Theft
Burglary and Theft
Theft Crimes Theft crimes are crimes that involve the unauthorized taking of the property of another with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. Historically, theft involved three different categories of crime: larceny, embezzlement and false...
Arson
Arson
Arson Arson is defined as the willful and malicious burning of the property of another. It is considered a violent crime and is treated as a felony in most states. According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, almost 17,000 acts of arson...
Traffic Offenses
Traffic Offenses
Traffic Offenses The law of traffic offenses, also known as traffic violations, covers unlawful activities that occur while an individual is operating a motor vehicle. Traffic offenses are typically governed by state motor vehicle codes that define...
Identity Theft
Identity Theft
Identity Theft “Identity theft” is the use of someone else’s personal information without his or her permission, usually for financial gain. While state and federal laws prohibit identity theft and provide restitution for victims, the immediate impact on...
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into prior to a marriage or civil union. A postnuptial agreement is a similar contract entered into after a marriage or civil union. These agreements are typically notarized and are generally subject to the Statute of Frauds, the common law requirement that certain contracts must be memorialized in writing to be enforceable. The content of these agreements can vary considerably, but they typically include division of property and spousal support in the event of death, divorce, or other dissolution of the marriage. They may also include provisions regarding adultery or conditions of guardianship.

Prenuptial Agreements

Historically, courts believed that nuptial agreements were contrary to public policy because it was thought that they might disrupt familial relationships or encourage the dissolution of marriages. Courts were also concerned about unequal bargaining power between spouses. Since the 1970s, however, courts have found that such agreements do not violate public policy as long as they are equitably constructed under fair and just circumstances.

Legally, these agreements are not necessarily the final word on how property will be divided or on post-divorce financial obligations. A court may find certain provisions within a prenuptial agreement to be unenforceable, and therefore invalidate these provisions or the entire agreement. In determining whether all or part of an agreement is enforceable, courts evaluate: fairness, disclosure of assets and liabilities, the existence of independent counsel, and the timing and circumstances of the agreement.

In assessing fairness, courts look at whether an agreement disproportionately favors one spouse over the other. Since circumstances change over time, this is tested at the time the agreement is sought to be enforced rather than when it was executed. Courts next look to whether parties have fully disclosed their assets and liabilities, and then whether the parties shared an attorney in drafting the agreement. Concealment of assets and liabilities or the sharing of the attorney may each render a nuptial agreement unenforceable. Lastly, the courts look at the circumstances under which the agreement was signed, especially whether there was reasonable time for each party to evaluate the agreement and whether there were any signs of duress or coercion.

Courts historically preferred prenuptial agreements to postnuptial agreements, reasoning that once married, partners would be less likely to execute this type of agreement fairly. Prenuptial agreements were therefore more likely to be upheld in court than postnuptial agreements. This perception is changing.

There has been a significant increase in the number of couples drafting postnuptial agreements in the past five years. These agreements are aimed at improving or preserving existing marriages. They can cover anything from which spouse’s family to visit during holidays to how much each spouse can spend on recreational activities to the division of yard work. Postnuptial agreements are most commonly used in community property states, which automatically give the other spouse rights to assets in the event of a dissolution of marriage. In determining whether postnuptial agreements are enforceable, as in evaluating prenuptial agreements, courts examine the circumstances of the negotiation process and whether it suggests duress or coercion, whether there has been full disclosure of assets and liabilities, and whether each partner used his or her own attorney.

Before you marry, it is a great idea to have a plan and agreement in place to protect your self if things don't work out.  The divorce rate in America is higher than ever before and a agreement before you solidify your union is the place to start.  George can help you create a agreement and navigate you thru the complex legal issues involved if the need should arise to utilize it.

Family Law
Family Law
Family Law Some of the most emotional and complex matters that you can face involve your family relationships. These can evolve over time as spouses find that they have grown apart, or the needs of children change. Often, spouses or parents can reach an...
Divorce
Divorce
Divorce It is a reality of modern life that not every marriage lasts forever. The divorce rate has been steadily rising throughout the United States for decades. If you are considering ending your marriage, you should learn something about the process in...
Legal Separation
Legal Separation
Legal Separation A legal separation occurs when a married couple makes a formal (legal) decision to live separate lives, often while considering or preparing for divorce . There are many reasons that a couple may prefer a legal separation instead of a...
Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into prior to a marriage or civil union. A postnuptial agreement is a similar contract entered into after a marriage or civil union. These agreements are typically notarized...
Parental Rights
Parental Rights
What are Parental Rights? In a family law context, parental rights refer to a parent’s rights to make important decisions and take certain actions on behalf of their child. Such rights are generally deemed automatic for biological parents, as well as...
Adoption
Adoption
Adoption If you are considering bringing an adopted child into your life, this is a momentous decision. You should take the time to understand the full scope of your options, which may be broader than you imagine. People at any stage of life can be...
Termination of Parental Rights
Termination of Parental Rights
Termination of Parental Rights The law in the United States holds a special regard for the rights of parents. Parents are allowed to make important choices on behalf of their children, and the state is rarely allowed to interfere. In return, parents are...