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California is a community property state.  This means that property acquired during a marriage belongs equally to both spouses.  However, couples can modify their property rights by contractual agreement.  Prenuptial, or premarital, agreements allow couples to decide how property will be divided and/or spousal support paid should the marriage end. 

These agreements must be carefully drafted and comply with specific requirements in order to be enforceable.

Prenuptial Agreements

These are up to each individual to discuss and implement before getting married. There is no right answer to “Should I get a prenup”. If you have assets that you prefer not to commingle or have accrued significant assets ahead of marriage you might want to consider a prenup.

Hear Kathy Minella Explain Prenups in 2023: Watch the Video Version

Co-habitation Agreements

It is becoming increasingly common for unmarried couples who share a home and expenses to enter into co-habitation agreements.  These agreements govern how expenses will be shared during co-habitation and how property will be divided should the relationship end.

Co-habitation agreements are becoming more popular because many couples now wait until they are older to get married.  By that time, each person often has more assets to bring to the co-habitation arrangement.

Many couples prefer to make an agreement in advance in order to minimize disputes if the relationship ends.


If you are considering a prenuptial or co-habitation agreement, it is important to consult with an attorney who is experienced in drafting these kinds of agreements and who can make sure that your agreement complies fully with all legal requirements.

The attorneys at Minella Law Group understand the law regarding property shared by couples in all types of domestic relationships, and can prepare an agreement that is tailored to your specific situation.  Please call Minella Law Group at (619) 289-7948 to schedule your consultation with an experienced family law attorney.



[This article has been updated for 2023. Image courtesy of Pexels]