Waldlaw Blog

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pre-Dups and Pre-Nups

Back from a brief get-away to Costa Rica, and continuing in my efforts to answer as many of the same-sex marriage questions as possible.... Many folks who registered as domestic partners have paid attorneys thousands of dollars to enter into valid pre-registration agreements to control the legal and financial ramifications of their registrations (dubbed Pre-Dups by our esteemed legal community). For those couples who have now decided to also marry, the question has arisen whether they need to enter into new Pre-Nups and, if so, how extensive these need to be and what they will cost. Consensus in the legal community is that folks will invalidate their Pre-Dups if they marry without entering into Pre-Nups. The Pre-Nups are necessary to make clear that the couple still intends the agreements they entered into prior to registering to appy, even in their new status as a married couple; and to clarify that all legal agreements and commitments of the marriage are to be dated from the date of registration, and not the date of marriage. However, we believe that a fairly concise Pre-Nup will do the trick if there has not been a substantial change in the couple's finances since the Pre-Dup was entered into. (If there has been a substantial change in finances, a more complex agreement may be needed.) However, the requirements for Pre-Nups will have to be met -- that is, each member of the couple will need separate counsel, and there will have to be a 10-day waiting period between finalization of the agreement and signing. This is yet another example of same-sex couples having to pay for legal services they shouldn't need (as with the extra financial burden of same-sex couples having to adopt their own children, and same-sex married or registered partners having to pay extra tax preparation fees due to the federal/state dissonance in filing status). In recognition of this fact -- and of the critical battle we are currently engaged in to defeat the anti-marriage amendment -- a small group of attorneys have agreed to do post-Pre-Dup Pre-Nups for free for couples who agree to donate the amount they would have spent on legal fees to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8. The attorneys currently on the list are Frederick Hertz, Emily Doskow and Paul Thorndal and myself from The Wald Law Group, and I will update this blog as others join us. And by the way, mazel tov to all of you who are celebrating summer weddings!!


  • here is a question for you:

    i am getting married on Aug 8, and REALLY want to get involved in the NO on prop 8 movement. as i don't really have money to donate to the cause right now, where can i go/what can i do to volunteer my services? I am currently living in Los Angeles. Thank you!!!!

    By Blogger la reintroductora, at 11:15 AM  

  • To find out what you can do in your own area to get involved in the fight agains Prop 8, contact Equality for All -- they have an on-line site for volunteers to sign up: http://eqfed.org/equalityforall/volunteer.html. You also can contact Equality California at http://www.eqca.org/site/pp.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=4026385. Both of these organizations are working hard (and working together) to defeat Prop 8.

    By Blogger Deborah Wald, at 12:55 PM  

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