Engaged couple signing a prenuptial agreement before their marriage

If you are planning your wedding, you may be wondering whether you need a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place to protect you and your assets. This is the time to contact Dorit L. Goikhman, an experienced family law attorney in California. Dori is dedicated to helping couples protect their rights and interests with well-conceived prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

If you are already married, you may be wondering about what options you have in California to enter into a postnuptial agreement, and under what circumstances a postnuptial agreement may be enforced. 

When you work with us, we will take the time to understand your goals and prepare an agreement that achieves your objectives. Founder Dorit L. Goikhman is a widely respected family law attorney and mediator who provides each client with personalized attention, informed guidance, and dependable service. 

Dorit Goikhman advises high-net-worth individuals on prenuptial and postnuptial agreements throughout California and has saved many people from future financial problems. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation, either by calling 866-223-4153 or book a session.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

Couples enter a prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement before marriage to clarify each party’s property rights should they divorce. A properly structured prenup can:

  1. Determine how the couple will handle bank accounts, household bills, and other debts
  2. Help avoid disputes over finances if the marriage ends in divorce
  3. Characterize property acquired during the marriage as community or separate

California couples wishing to enter into a prenuptial agreement must be particularly cautious. Courts are notorious for invalidating improperly drafted prenuptial agreements, so parties should be careful to engage experienced counsel to make sure that their prenuptial agreement can survive court scrutiny. 

What is a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is an agreement entered into after the marriage, which can accomplish many of the same goals as a prenuptial agreement. But parties to a postnuptial agreement must exercise great caution – postnuptial agreements are held to a high standard when it comes to enforcement. postnuptial agreements should not be entered into without the assistance of an attorney, as courts may easily invalidate postnuptial agreements that are not properly drafted. 

Why do I need a prenuptial agreement?

Marriage is both a romantic and financial relationship – and disputes over finances often lead to divorce. A well-conceived prenuptial agreement allows future spouses to explore financial issues and understand how finances can impact their relationship before they tie the knot. 

Dorit Goikhman helps couples in the San Francisco Bay Area to create prenups covering important issues such as:

Property Division

California is a community property state, meaning that property acquired by the couple during the marriage such as real estate, collectibles, and retirement assets, is considered community property that must be divided equally in a divorce. 

Our office drafts prenups to help parties protect the property they bring into the marriage and distinguish between separate and marital property. Dori will work closely with you to ensure your prenuptial agreement complies with applicable laws and rules governing property division and protects your rights and interests. 

Without a prenuptial agreement, a dispute over whether the property is separate or marital may rise to the level of litigation. Suppose the courts determine that separate property acquired before the marriage has been converted into marital property. Let our experienced mediator ensure your prenuptial agreement properly addresses property division. 

Spousal Support 

The laws governing spousal support have been modified over the years. Today, there are two kinds of support – temporary and permanent. A prenuptial agreement can specify whether one party will provide spousal support to the other and the amount and duration of support. Notably, courts in California are reluctant to enforce a prenuptial agreement waiving a party’s right to support, especially if doing so would leave that person destitute. Dori understands the nuances of prenuptial agreement enforcement and can draft an agreement that is most likely to be enforced. 


A prenup will also determine whether either party is responsible for the other’s debts, a key consideration if either party accumulates significantly more debt than the other.

Asset Protection 

Because more people are delaying marriage to prioritize careers and pursue other interests, many individuals may have accumulated significant assets before marriage. Creating a prenuptial agreement will ensure these assets remain separate property in the event of divorce. 

Business Ownership

If either party owns a business or professional practice, a prenup can clarify that the business will remain separate property after the marriage. Without a prenup, the court may find that the business is community property subject to division in a divorce. 

Why do I need a postnuptial agreement?

In California, a postnuptial agreement can accomplish many of the same goals as a premarital or prenuptial agreement. For example, postnuptial agreements can be used to: 

  1. Determine how the couple will handle bank accounts, household bills, and other debts
  2. Help avoid disputes over finances if the marriage ends in divorce
  3. Characterize property acquired during the marriage as community or separate 

Postnuptial agreements are sometimes entered into for other reasons, including to modify the property rights or characterization of property. 

What Are the Benefits of a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement can offer several benefits:

  • Addresses property rights issues so they can be resolved quickly and amicably if the marriage ends
  • Protects the rights and interests of both parties
  • Protects the inheritance rights of any children or other heirs from a prior marriage

By working with our experienced Santa Clara family law attorney, you can create a prenup that protects your property rights and gives you peace of mind.  

Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable?

Prenuptial agreements are generally enforceable in California; however, a court may deem a prenup invalid under the following circumstances:

  • Either party fails to disclose or attempts to conceal or transfer assets
  • One party signed the agreement under duress or coercion
  • The prenup unfairly favors one spouse over the other, for example, leaving the other spouse with nothing

Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to create a valid and enforceable prenuptial agreement. For safe measure, each party should have their own attorney review the agreement before signing. Rest assured, we will help you create a prenuptial agreement that gains court approval and protects your interests.  

Service Areas

Off The Record Mediation Services, LLC helps customers throughout the Central California and San Francisco Bay area, including:

  • San Mateo County
  • Orange County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Marin County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Alameda County
  • Solano County
  • Napa County
  • Sonoma County
  • San Francisco
  • Oakland
  • San Jose
  • Fremont
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Rosa
  • Stockton
  • Sacramento
  • Modesto
  • Mountain View
  • Palo Alto
  • Berkeley
  • Monterey
  • and more…

Get Started On Your Prenuptial Agreement Today

A common misconception is that prenuptial agreements are unromantic or a setup for a failed marriage. But a properly structured prenup can help clarify your thoughts and feelings about money, plan your financial future, and minimize disputes in the event of divorce. Contact Dorit Goikhman so we can start working on your prenuptial agreement. 

To schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call our office at 866-223-4153 or schedule a free consultation online today.