Can I Include College Tuition in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Do you have a prenuptial agreement? If you are engaged in the state of California, you might want to consider getting one. Many people believe that prenuptial agreements have some kind of stigma, and do not want to consider anything related to divorce prior to their marriage. However, doing so can be very beneficial. If you are already married, creating a postnuptial agreement can also accomplish this effect. This is particularly important to do if you have shared children with your spouse to ensure that the children are taken care of and that all promises that have been made to and about them are legally codified and honored. Any terms included in a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement are legally enforceable by a court, while, on the other hand, verbal agreements made between spouses or family members, can be denied by either party.
Protecting Your Children with a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
While promises made verbally are not enforceable unless you are able to prove to the court that the promise actually occurred. For this reason, it is important to codify these promises by creating a contractual agreement. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are both legally binding contracts, which both parties will be required to perform, and a court will enforce the terms. This ensures that if your spouse has promised to pay for your children’s college tuition, or has promised to help pay, these promises may not hold up in court if there is no evidence of them. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that includes this as a term acts of evidence of the agreement and holds both parties accountable to follow through.
Why Address College Tuition in a Prenuptial Agreement
It may seem like college tuition for unborn or recently-born children is way too far in the future to deal with before you and your spouse are even married, however, it is important for your children. In California, there is no legal obligation to provide for your children, financially or otherwise, after the age of 18. This means that without a separate, private, contract, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you will have no legal means of holding your spouse accountable to help your shared children pay for college.
When you create terms addressing college tuition and expenses, it is important to make sure that the terms and language that you use are specific. Although it can be hard to know the exact expenses in advance of your children’s actual college acceptance, you can define what payments you and your spouse will be responsible for housing. For instance, if you simply say college expenses, it may be unclear if that includes living tuition and other expenses related to college, and if it only says college tuition, your child may not have the means to make other important payments.
Contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler Today
If you are engaged or already married, and want to make sure that your children are taken care of when it comes time to pay child tuition, Bradley S. Sandler can help make sure that both you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to financially caring for your future or existing children. Contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler in Los Angeles, California, today, to schedule a consultation.