Cohabitation Agreements, Prenuptial Agreements, and Postnuptial Agreements Santa Barbara and Ventura 

Prenuptial/Post Nuptial Agreements Santa Barbara Attorney Gabriela Ferreira

Cohabitation Agreements: 

A cohabitation agreement is a form of legal agreement reached between a couple who have chosen to live together, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. In some ways, such a couple may be treated like a married couple. However, in some other areas, such as property rights, pensions and inheritance, they are treated differently.

A cohabitation agreement contains documentation for a couple who want to live together in order to protect themselves from unnecessary cost and litigation should their cohabitation break down. They can clearly lay out their property rights and what arrangements might be made for mutual financial support, dealing with debt, caring for children, etc.

This agreement is much like a prenuptial agreement, allowing the individuals to determine in advance who will keep specific assets and what will happen to assets that have been purchased jointly if they separate. This agreement is intended to bind both parties.

Prenuptial Agreements:

A prenuptial agreement can help make your marriage last by reducing the financial incentives to filing a divorce lawsuit. If your marriage doesn't last, a prenuptial agreement can help reduce the time and money spent on litigation. 

The reason premarital agreements are so important for wealthy individuals who are getting married is because in California, the general rule is that assets and income acquired during marriage are presumed to be community property. Although assets that were acquired prior to marriage may continue to be separate property, a community property interest may still arise in some instances.  This is why the prenuptial agreements are drafted. To circumvent the community property laws in California.These documents can ensure that assets remain separate property no matter what happens. 

Postnuptial Agreements: 

A postnuptial agreement happens after a couple is married. One spouse’s bad behavior or out of control spending during the marriage might prompt the other spouse to ask for a postnupial agreement. Even when the marriage is going well, couples may use a postnuptial agreement to define things, such as each spouse's separate property, financial responsibilities, or rights to the family business. Postnupial agreements can address the same kinds of issues that would normally be in a prenuptial agreement.


When facing a cohabitation, prenuptial or posnuptial agreement, the most important step you can take is contacting an experienced family law attorney. When ensuring your rights are protected, make sure you have a team with a proven track record on your side. Please contact us to schedule a consultation.