Cohabitation, Prenuptial / Postnuptial Agreements


The Law Offices of Robert J. Nachshin in West Los Angeles is considered to be among the top experts in prenuptial agreements in the country and have written a book on the topic, I Do, You Do…But Just Sign Here: A Quick and Easy Guide to Cohabitation, Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements. Robert J. Nachshin is best known for his precedent-setting win in the Barry Bonds prenuptial case, which he took to the California Supreme Court and prevailed on Bonds’ behalf.

Basically, there are three types of marital-type contracts: cohabitation, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.  Those heterosexual and same-sex couples living together often seek a cohabitation agreement to delineate their separate property and assets, while those about to marry or who enter into a domestic partnership agreement often sign prenuptial agreements. Those couples who wish to protect what they feel is their exclusive rights to property and other assets acquired after the marriage has taken place, contact a family law attorney for a contract to protect their separate property interests. The latter marital contract can be entered into shortly after the marriage takes place or even years later depending upon a person’s circumstances.

In anticipation of marrying, those who first live together have a family law attorney draw up a joint cohabitation and prenuptial agreement after they have moved in together and it is in effect well before the wedding. Often, those hugely successful businesspersons, athletes and celebrities in film, television and music opt for postnuptial agreements in order to protect their earned assets and those in the offing. For instance, it is commonplace for those such as rock stars, producers, songwriters, movie stars, television personalities, star athletes and entrepreneurs to regret not having a marital contract in place, especially when their once fledgling careers have finally blossomed.

Because the client roster at the Law Offices of Robert J. Nachshin include many individuals of high-net worth—celebrities, athletes, corporate executives and others of substantial means—the firm’s experience in drafting, interpreting and enforcing such agreements is routine. Those who have sought the services of Robert J. Nachshin, in addition to Barry Bonds, to draft and enforce their marital contracts include film director, John McTiernan and screenwriter and novelist, Terry McMillan, as well as many others.

The cohabitation and prenuptial agreements, if prepared, signed and documented properly, are easy to enforce, while the postnuptial agreement is harder to enforce.

Each of the martial-type contracts are designed to protect the parties who enter into them to ensure that, should the union dissolve, they will be fully entitled to receive funds, property and belongings that have been stipulated as “his/her” separate property in each and every one of the martial agreements.�This may prove particularly important if there are children from prior marriages or relationships involved in these relationships.

Parties who enter into marital contracts may never dissolve their union, yet having such an agreement in place is always meant to provide both parties peace of mind. When considering that more than 50 percent of all California marriages dissolve, having a marital contract could prove critical.