While the parties to a marriage should never contemplate divorce, everyone going into a marriage is faced with the question:

“Should I get a pre-nup?”

California law makes all property and debt acquired during marriage community property, which could mean real consequences should the status of one’s marriage change.

Alphonse Provinziano is a certified family law specialist with extensive expertise in drafting pre-nups.

Mr. Provinziano has been distinguished as a “Top Attorney Under 40” by the American Association of Legal Advocates and given a 10/10 rating through Avvo.


What is a Pre-Nup?

A pre-nup, also referred to as a pre-nuptial agreement or pre-marital agreement, is an agreement between prospective spouses concerning their intentions during marriage for property, debt, income, and virtually any other topic concerning a marriage. The Provinziano Legal team helps each client clearly identify the goals they wish to achieve with their pre-nup.

Once the goals of the pre-nup are established, drafting begins. The pre-nup must be presented to the other party at least 7 days before the wedding, or it may be invalid. While one party can waive the right to an attorney to draft or review a pre-nup, it is not recommended. The failure of one party to have an attorney may be a factor in denying the pre-nup - therefore the recommended practice is to have an attorney draft the pre-nup and the other party review the pre-nup. Once everyone signs off on the pre-nup after revisions, the process is complete. We hope you never need to use it, but the peace of mind that a pre-nup brings can make a real difference to our clients in terms of having a sense of security over their future.

A Protection Against Uncertainty

A pre-nup can clearly establish the means by which each spouse keeps their intellectual property, their real property, and their businesses separate rather than becoming community property.

A pre-nup can protect against the possibility of lifetime support in certain circumstances, however, a pre-nup can never be a guarantee of this because its enforceability is determined when and if a judge hears a divorce case.

A pre-nup can also prevent the fact that working in your business, intellectual or artistic endeavor during marriage doesn't result in making those life long pursuits turn into community property by the sole virtue of them being performed during marriage.

Which Professions Should Consider Pre-Nups?

The ability to enumerate and identify separate vs community property is of particular importance for persons in the entertainment, medicine, law, entrepreneurs, and IT professionals, and in almost all fields and pursuits. For example:

Attorneys - Secure time and efforts in building your practice as separate rather than community property.

Doctors - Protect work expended in building a medical practice to be separate rather than community property.

Entrepreneurs - Save your work and interest put into your business before marriage and prevent your business from turning into community property.

Entertainers - Protect your rights to your intellectual property, including songs, movies, scripts, books and other media - as well as the royalties, residuals, and control over your work that comes with them.

Start-Up/IT Professionals - protect stock options and profit sharing incurred before or after marriage.

Given the current state of the law, the Provinziano Legal team cannot guarantee that a pre-nup will be enforced by the court during a divorce proceeding as a pre-nup is not determined to be enforceable under the law until the time it comes before the court. Under current law the court may determine that the pre-nup is unenforceable on grounds that it is unconscionable at the time if it's enforcement. Nevertheless, a pre-nup is one of the main ways to protect and secure assets, income, and wealth for the future.

Pre-Nups and Individuals of High Net Worth

High Net Worth individuals in the LA, Beverly Hills, and Orange County areas have justifiable concerns relating to California Community Property and Spousal Support laws. Often substantial assets and income were earned before a marriage. Under California law, there are ways that after marriage one's assets can become community property. The best practice is to have a pre-nup in place with the hope that it will never be used. A pre-nup can give clear delineation to pre-marital assets and assets acquired during marriage as separate or community property. It can strengthen a couples' understanding of their wealth and income in order to eliminate questions that may arise in the future and prevent disagreements. Pre-nups are one of the few ways high net worth individual can protect their income, assets, and future under California law.

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When emotions are running high and a man loves a woman he wants to pop that special question - will you marry me? Almost always there is a beautiful diamond ring involved, but what happens if the marriage doesn't happen? Does the man get the ring back or does the woman get to keep it? And what happens in the case of same-sex couples? Do pre-nups offer protection? If there is a dispute, which court hears the matter? READ MORE


At the Provinziano Legal Team we don't want to take the romance out of your wedding day and marriage. This is why we pride ourselves on quickly drafting a pre-nup with efficiency and speed so you can enjoy your big day with less stress looming on the horizon.

The Provinziano Legal Team is your best resource for drafting a custom tailored pre-nup to fit your needs as we understand our clients and work efficiently to get the job done